MANILA, Philippines – Assistant State Prosecutor Diosdado Solidum Jr. was arrested in an entrapment operation by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Thursday evening for demanding money from unionized workers of Philippine Airlines (PAL).
Solidum, who is based at the Department of Justice central office in Manila, allegedly extorted P2.5 million in exchange for the dismissal of criminal case against 241 members of Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA).
The PALEA members were charged with grave coercion for allegedly disrupting the services of the airport when they mounted a protest against their retrenchment in 2011, Section 81 (b) (5) of Republic Act No. 9497 or the “Civil Aviation Authority Act of 2008.”
PALEA coordinated with the NBI and Justice Secretary Leila De Lima in planning the operation.
“I’ve said it before and will say it again that I don’t mind undertaking such entrapment operations against our own people and suffering the consequent embarrassment for the institution, if only to send a clear and strong signal that corruption has no place in DOJ (Department of Justice),” De Lima said.
The Office of the Ombudsman will conduct the inquest proceedings and then the case will be filed at the Sandiganbayan.
Janine Faith A. Tiempo
Leyte Norma University