BALAOAN, La Union—The National Bureau of Investigation arrested a La Union judge in San Fernando City for bribery on Friday.
An NBI team, led by agents Policronio Palpallatoc and Max Salvador, said Regional Trial Court Judge Senecio Tan was arrested in the act of accepting P15,000 in marked money during a sting operation in the judge’s office.
Tan had allegedly demanded the money from complainant Rogelio de Sesto, a retired court sheriff and resident of Barangay Sinapangan this town, in exchange for a promise to employ Sesto’s daughter as a member of the judge’s staff.
The Manila Times sought to get Tan’s side, but he declined to answer questions while he was at the office of NBI regional director, Victor Bessat.
De Sesto told The Times that the money he allegedly handed over to the judge was part of a P50,000 bribe Tan had asked to employ Sesto’s daughter, Christina, as a court process server.
De Sesto admitted he asked Tan to hire Christina to replace another employee who was leaving. He alleged that Tan agreed to do so in exchange for two bottles of imported brandy and P20,000. However, the judge later asked for an additional P15,000.
Believing that the judge might double cross him, de Sesto filed a complaint against Tan before the NBI.
Upon receiving the complaint, the local NBI agents staged the sting operation to arrest Tan.
Criminal and administrative charges have been filed against Tan for violating Republic Act 3019, the Antigraft and Corrupt Practices Act. The NBI will also bring Tan to the Department of Justice office in Manila for inquest proceedings before the judge could file bail for his temporary liberty.
By Jun Elias