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Cebu City Gov’t Employee Accused of Extortion Against Market Vendors Arrested

Police authorities arrested a government employee of Cebu City after being accused of extortion against public market vendors.

In Cebu City, the National Bureau of Investigation-Region 7 (NBI-7) arrested a government employee for extorting money from market merchants. Kara Marie Bargamento, the officer-in-charge of the municipal market operations section, was the person arrested.

Cebu Market Vendors Extortion

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Bargamento was apprehended during an entrapment operation at Carbon’s Freedom Park Market. The sellers said that Bargamento demanded up to P100,000 for stalls that would be spared from the remodeling plan.

The payment, according to the NBI, will guarantee them a spot in the soon-to-be-opened interim market, which is expected to be in a prime location. Approximately 50 suppliers transacted with Bargamento. Bargamento continued to assist in the issuance of the Certificate of Award, which grants the merchants stall rights and the right of occupancy in exchange for the stated payment.

The NBI published a video of the suspect conversing with a vendor who was attempting to persuade her to pay only P80,000 instead of P100,000. Sworn declarations from city authorities denying any direction for her to do so, as claimed, backed up the case.

Bargamento, who declined to comment on her arrest, was charged with violating Republic Act 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, by the Cebu City prosecutor. After the inquest, she was able to post bail, which the prosecutor set at P90,000.

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