Authorities arrest 3 fixers at Makati City Hall
Makati Mayor Abby Binay today said an entrapment operation initiated by the city government has led to the arrest of three suspects, including two city government employees.
"The city government will not tolerate fixers. We will continue to aggressively implement our anti-red tape initiatives to ensure that all transactions with the government are done in a transparent and fair manner," Mayor Abby said.
The suspects, identified as Aisheen Mana-ay, 27, Wilfreda De Leon, 59, and Merlin Balbuena, 46, were apprehended in Barangay Poblacion on Monday.
De Leon works as an Administrative Assistant II (regular status), while Balbuena is under the Makati Health Department's Sanitary Section (casual status). Mana-ay works at a private establsihment.
The mayor said De Leon will no longer receive her benefits following her arrest.
Makati police chief PCol. Edward Cutiyog said the first incident happened at 5:30pm when his office received information from City Hall regarding illegal transaction activities of city hall employees under the Makati Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO).
One of the police officers pretended to be a businesswoman who needed assistance in processing a business permit and contacted Mana-ay through text messages.
In a short exchange of messages, Mana-ay claimed that she would process the documents and asked the police officer to pay P500.
The suspect was arrested in an entrapment operation, and upon interrogation, Mana-ay said that she was instructed to receive the money for De Leon.
At around 7pm, De Leon was arrested in a follow-up operation at Makati City Hall Building 2.
Police recovered one P500 bill, 88 pieces of P1,000 entrapment money, three pieces of P500 boodle money, and a black Cherry Mobile tablet.
Meanwhile, Balbuena was arrested in a separate entrapment operation at around 7:40pm in front of 7-Eleven on J.P. Rizal Avenue after police received information regarding fixers lurking outside the Makati City Hall Building 2.
The suspect allegedly asked for P600 in exchange for faster issuance of a health certificate.
Cutiyog said the local police seized one P1,000 bill, 49 pieces of P1,000 boodle money, and 41 accomplished health certificates.
The suspects are facing charges for violating RA 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.
Mayor Abby urged residents and business owners to report any illegal activities to the local police for proper investigation.
"We will continue to pursue these operations to ensure that our citizens receive the services that they need without having to go through the hassle of dealing with fixers," she added.
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