CABANATUAN CITY — The Sandigan bayan has meted imprisonment and fines to Cabanatuan City councilor Angelito Saclolo Jr. and Sanggunian secretary Alfredo G. Ortaleza for “demanding and accepting P300,000 from a local firm in consideration for the immediate passage of a resolution authorizing the construction of cell sites in the city in 2013.
Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Sarah Jane Fernandez of the anti-graft court’s Sixth Division has sentenced Saclolo and Ortaliza to up to eight years in prison and a fine of P900,000 for direct bribery and solicitation.
“The prosecution established beyond reasonable doubt that the accused Saclolo and Ortaleza solicited P440,000 and after negotiations to reduce the amount, accepted P300,000 in the course of their official duties from Richworld Aire and Technologies Corp.,” the court said in a 63-page decision dated October 20, 2020.
At that time, the firm was securing a locational clearance from the city for cell site towers to be put up at the city’s Barangays Bakero and Sapang. The complainants said the amount was requested during a meeting in a local restaurant by the accused as an “SOP” paid to local officials to accommodate applications.
Saclolo was then concurrent chairman of the city Sanggunian’s Committee on Transportation and Communications. The council subsequently granted the firm a locational clearance contained in City Ordinance No. 013-2013. (With PNA)