Four gov’t workers under probe for alleged extortion, fake permits issuance

(Photo courtesy of Bacolod PIO)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD CITY – The City Legal Office (CLO) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) – Bacolod are investigating two separate cases of alleged extortion and issuance of fake business permits against four employees of the city government here.

Two personnel of the Office of the Building Official (OBO) are being investigated following complaints for alleged extortion during a Mayor’s Permit renewal inspection here.

It was alleged that these personnel demanded P5,000 to expedite the OBO clearance approval on January 11, 2024.

No other details were provided, as of this writing, but these personnel were required to respond within three days to address the accusations.

Meanwhile, the NBI-Bacolod issued subpoenas on Tuesday to two other employees of the city government to further investigate their alleged involvement in the issuance of fake business permits last year.

This, after Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez sought the NBI’s intervention to ensure a thorough and impartial probe on the matter.

Assistant NBI agent-in-charge Jose Gabriel Jr., said that these employees could be possible witnesses in the alleged incident.

“Baka makatulong sila,” he said, adding that they were part of the signatories in the receipts, assessment, and confiscation of the fake permit.

When asked if they already have a suspect, Gabriel said they have yet to establish the whereabouts or even identify the job order casual employee who assisted the business owner in the issuance of the fake business permit last year.

“Hindi maliwanag kung bakit nakaduty pa siya nung January 2023 kahit terminated na siya nung July 2022. Kaya gusto ko rin siya mahanap,”Gabriel said.

The Business One-Stop-Shop (BOSS) of the city government for the renewal of business permits has been extended until February 15.