Friday, June 18, 2004

Zambales judge falls in entrapment

Inquirer News Service

IBA, Zambales-A municipal trial court judge in this town was arrested by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation after he allegedly asked P15,000 from three people involved in a land dispute pending in his courtroom.

Reports said Judge Conrado Alinea was caught while receiving the marked bills from Jose Abdam, one of the complainants in the case.

In a sworn affidavit, the complainants said Alinea asked the money in exchange for the resolution of the case in their favor.

Abdam said the regional trial court of Zambales earlier issued a writ of demolition for some illegal structures on his land and Alinea was asked to issue a writ of execution on the court's order.

But Abdam said Alinea recalled the writ of execution and set it aside.

Alinea, after withdrawing the demolition order, called for a hearing on June 11, the affidavit said.

After the hearing, the complainants asked Alinea's explanation on the recall order.

They said the judge then told them that if they could produce P15,000, he would issue the writ of demolition and execution.

The complainants then sought the help of their lawyer, Gerry Montefalcon, and the latter advised them to ask the help of the NBI to entrap Alinea.

When the judge was arrested at 1:40 p.m. on Thursday, Alinea said he did not touch the money.

Alinea was taken to the NBI Central Luzon office in Pampanga to test if he was positive for ultraviolet powder that the NBI used to mark the bills.

Alinea is facing charges of robbery and extortion and violation of the anti-graft and corrupt practices act

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