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[ Davao Oriental ] Ombudsman orders filing of graft charge vs DENR field official

[ Manila Bulletin Online ] January 21, 2009

Ombudsman Ma. Merceditas N. Gutierrez yesterday ordered the filing of a graft charge against the chief of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-PENRO) in Mati City, Davao Oriental for allegedly extorting money from a businessman in the said province.

The charges against Gilbert Pajo stemmed from a complaint filed by one Ruben Feliciano, owner and general manager of BJ Shipping Agency and Stevedoring.

In his complaint, Feliciano stated that he entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Norma Oduyan, holder of a small-scale mining permit, under which he was given authority to operate, manage, supervise, administer and market the mining area.

He then applied with the PENRO for an Ore Transport Permit (OTP) and Verification/Certificate (VC) for the transport of the ore products to its port of destination.

However, despite several attempts, Pajo denied his application and kept on asking the amount of P100,000 in exchange for his approval.

Thus, Feliciano sought the assistance of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) in Davao City, who immediately set an entrapment.

On June 25, 2007, he texted respondent to follow-up the renewal of his OTP and VC. (Jun Ramirez)


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