2 persons nabbed for using Casas's name, asking bribes

·2 min read

TWO persons, including a man posing as a lawyer, were arrested in Barangay Banilad, Cebu City on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, after they allegedly used the name of City Administrator Floro Casas Jr. in conducting illegal transactions.

Marythel Nicolette Niere, 34, and Reihan Abusaman Hunti, 32, were caught in an entrapment by the Police Regional Office 7 operatives.

Before the arrest, Casas, a lawyer, had learned about the suspects’ illegal activities. He later reported them to the police.

Investigation showed that Niere misrepresented Casas in dealing with contractors who want to enter into projects by the Cebu City Government. Hunti allegedly posed as a lawyer, calling himself attorney Farhad Akmad, a legal officer of Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella’s law office—E.C. Labella and Partners.

The suspects asked contractors for bribes that would be given to Casas, who denied he was involved in them.

Suspects’ defense

Niere claimed innocence, saying a friend who works at the Cebu City Hall had asked her to get the bribe. She denied knowing Casas.

For his part, Hunti said Niere instructed him to pose as a lawyer and Niere gave him the foreign-sounding name. He was told that his role was that of a bagman, the person who keeps and carries the bribe.

Hunti said he had not met Casas before his arrest.

Casas’s relief

Casas said he was glad the suspects have been arrested, saying he has to protect his name and Labella’s.

He said he learned about the suspects’ modus after a contractor approached him. The contractor reportedly transacted with Hunti, who represented Niere. The suspects asked for P3 million in exchange for a project from the City, and Casas was the city official who sent Niere to seal the deal.

Casas said the suspects’ modus was to call suppliers and contractors of the Cebu City Hall and ask them for a bribe in exchange for public projects.

The suspects will be facing estafa charges. (BBT, PAC)