GOVERNMENT operatives arrested on Thursday a government prosecutor and a lawyer for bribing a policeman to stop appearing as witness in a high-profile case in Zamboanga City, reports said on Friday.
Reports by the Presidential Anti-Organize Crime Commission (Paocc) identified the arrested as Zamboanga City Deputy Prosecutor Roselyn “Rose” Murillo-Mamon and lawyer Pherham Surian Saiddi.
The reports said the two were arrested in an entrapment operation conducted jointly by Manila-based Paocc and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents.
The reports said the two were nabbed after receiving P200,000 from Police Officer (PO) 3 Flavio Enriquez Jr., inside room 105 of the Zamboanga City Hall of Justice at around 1 p.m. on Thursday.
The entrapment operation was conducted after Enriquez complained to the Paocc that he was being coerced by Prosecutor Mamon to drop the charges against suspects P02 Pon Mohammad Mansul and Margani Samla alias “Bin Laden” by deliberately ignoring court summons for him to testify.
Prior to the entrapment operation, Enriquez secretly recorded his conversation with Mamon.
In the recorded conversation, the prosecutor was heard telling the policeman to skip the trial so the cases of murder and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition filed against Mansul and Samla will be dropped.
Officials said that Saiddi was sent by her client Mansul to witness the release of the P200,000 cash to Enriquez.
The two lawyers were immediately taken to the NBI regional office in Zamboanga City for booking and further investigation.
They will be facing charges for violation of Republic Acts 3019 and 6713 and corruption of public officials under the Revised Penal Code.
Paocc reported that PO3 Enriquez was injured in a raid at the lair of Samla, described as a leader of a notorious drug trafficking and gun-for-hire syndicate in Zamboanga City on October 25, 2011.
Samla is also a subject of a warrant of arrest issued by the Zamboanga City Regional Trial Court Branch 16 for his involvement in the killing of two local policemen.
In May, the policeman said that he got a phone call from Mamon who offered him P100,000 if he will not attend the scheduled hearing of the case on July 23.
Enriquez said that he was berated by Mamon when he refused to accede to her offer made over the telephone and instead said he wants to personally see the prosecutor.
The Paocc said the prosecutor made a series of calls to Enriquez to make the same offer.
On July 22, the two met at the DOJ office where he was again asked by the prosecutor into desisting from the case citing the weak evidence against the suspects.
The prosecutor offered the policemen P250,000 to P300,000 if he will agree to her offer. She also said that she will be the one to prepare the affidavit of desistance to be presented to Judge Estacio.
The cop videotaped their last conversation on July 24 where Mamon was shown clearly making the bribe offer to Enriquez in exchange for his desistance and was even seen berating the policeman in an attempt to intimidate him.