2 cops’ arrest bares police extortion racket

Published July 19, 2018, 2:21 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Aaron Recuenco

Agents of the anti-scalawag unit of the Philippine National Police (PNP) arrested early Thursday morning two lawmen assigned to the Manila Police District (MPD), with the operation exposing the prevalence of extortion racket of erring cops.

The usual modus, according to the Counter-Intelligence Task Force (CITF), is to arrest a person but such operations would not appear in any blotter or police records.

(Credit: Pixabay / MANILA BULLETIN)
(Credit: Pixabay / MANILA BULLETIN)

The cops would then force the arrested suspects to cough up money in exchange for not pursuing the case. In most cases, this modus is being used by errant anti-drugs police operatives.

CITF commander Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat said that this modus again happened in Manila, but this time, involving a group of persons nabbed for alleged sex trafficking.

He identified the arrested cops as Police Officers 1 Erdie Bautista and MJ Cerilla. Four other MPD cops remain at large, identified as PO3 Michael Chavez, PO3 Dindo Encina, PO1 Arcadio Orbis and PO Martinico Mario.

All the cops are assigned to the District Special Operations Unit (DSOU) of the MPD.

A few hours after the arrest, the wife of the suspect sought the assistance of the CITF after the policemen demanded P100,000 from her in exchange for the release of her husband.

Caramat said the extortion demand was later reduced to P50,000. But it was then that CITF operatives mapped out an entrapment.

At around 12:30 a.m. yesterday, the complainant brought the money to the Manila Police District where the money was allegedly received by an errand boy of the erring cops.

It was then that the CITF operatives, in coordination with the MPD leadership, announced the arrest.

“During the operation, the CITF operatives were able to rescue the arrested persons inside DSOU Office,” said Caramat.

“Upon verification on their record, there was no official blotter entry on their arrest and no spot report was submitted,” he added.

It was recalled that last week, exactly the same modus was done by the entire anti-drugs unit of Muntinlupa City against a woman whom they arrested and brought to the police station, along with her seven-year-old son, for alleged drugs violation.

The cops also ransacked the house of the alleged drug suspect and later demanded money from her live-in partner. Some of the items stolen from the house of the suspect, including a television set, were recovered from the cars of the erring Muntinlupa cops.

During the operation, it was also found out that the cops had no operation report of the arrest of the woman.

The incident resulted in the relief of the Muntinlupa City Police chief.

The CITF has already arrested almost 100 erring cops since its creation in February last year, most of the cases are extortion using the same modus operandi.