By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

(Photo courtesy of PNP)

MANILA – The police arrested a firefighter in Zamboanga del Sur for allegedly promising recruitment slots for aspirants to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in exchange for a fee.

In a report Tuesday, BFP-9 (Zamboanga Peninsula) director Fire Chief Supt. Renato Marcial said suspect Fire Officer (FO) 3 Jesson Casanes, currently assigned at the Isabela City Fire Station in Basilan province, was nabbed by agents of the Criminal Investigation and Detective Group – Zamboanga del Sur in an entrapment in Purok Crossing, Barangay Sicade, Kumalarang town on Monday afternoon.

Seized from the suspect were marked money worth PHP400,000 from a BFP applicant.

In a separate statement, Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. urged applicants to undergo proper recruitment procedures and refrain from dealing with con artists who promise them non-existent jobs in exchange for a fee.

“This will send a strong message to the public that we do not tolerate our personnel to engage in this kind of malpractice,” Abalos said.

Two BFP personnel were earlier arrested for engaging in the same scheme.

In October, FO1 Ramces Paul Benipayo of the Muntinlupa Fire Station was arrested after receiving PHP200,000 from a fellow firefighter from Western Visayas in exchange for a fake job promotion.

In May, FO1 Karla Rodriguez, 29, assigned at the Guiuan Fire Station in Eastern Samar, was likewise arrested after allegedly extorting PHP150,000 from a female applicant. (PNA)