Tarlac official arrested over alleged extortion try

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Authorities arrested on Monday the task force quarry head of Tarlac City in an entrapment operation, three days after a private citizen reported his alleged extortion activities to the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA).

After receiving the complaint, ARTA together with Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)-Tarlac and Tarlac City Police Station set up the joint entrapment operation that led to the arrest of Pedro Soliman II at the Tarlac City Hall at around 1 p.m.

Investigation showed that a private citizen sought help from ARTA on May 21.

Soliman asked the complainant to pay P240,000 in exchange for her quarry clearance.

The complainant asked if she can pay in three installments of P80,000 each. Soliman agreed and instructed her to make the initial payment on May 24.

After the victim handed the money, the suspect was immediately arrested by the combined elements of ARTA, CIDG-Tarlac and Tarlac CPS.

Secretary Jeremiah Belgica, ARTA Director General, congratulated CIDG-Tarlac for their quick response.

“We thank ARTA-CIDG-Tarlac CPS TEAM for the prompt action following a complaint of extortion in Tarlac City Hall,” he said in a statement. “Your immediate response to a complaint by a citizen in distress demonstrates your commitment to service and the Filipino people. Carry on!” he said.

Soliman is now under the custody of CIDG-Tarlac.

He may face charges for violation of Section 21 of Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 and Joint Memorandum Circular 2021-01 or the suspension of the collection of illegal fees and taxes on the transport of goods and products.

He is set to undergo inquest proceedings on Tuesday.

 

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