By Aaron Recuenco
It has a plot typical of an afternoon teledrama.
And the intervention of the operatives of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) on a more than P1.5-million extortion racket stemming from a mauling incident three years ago may have been the climax of the story.
Last Saturday, NCRPO Director Police Major General Guillermo Eleazar said his men arrested 47-year-old Danilo Baltazar in an entrapment at the South Harbor expanded Port Zone of Philippine Ports Authority in Manila on Saturday based on the complaint of a woman who sought police assistance.
The woman, whose identity was withheld due to the sensitivity of the case, asked the NCRPO Regional Special Operations Unit (RSOU) for help against a man and his cohorts whom he accused of extorting money from her and her partner since 2017.
“Based on the story, it appears that it all started from an intense jealousy of a Chinese girlfriend of the complainant against another woman in 2016. On the midst of the jealousy issue, the Chinese girlfriend hired somebody to maul this woman whom she saw as a threat to their relationship,” said Eleazar.
The female complainant, it was learned, is in a romantic relationship with a Chinese woman.
The Chinese girlfriend of the complainant then tapped a certain Neil Coleta to execute the plan, which is to beat up Ces (not her real name).
Coleta, according to Eleazar, was given two options: either to beat up Ces himself or hire somebody to do so for a price of P250,000. The complainant told police that she became helpless and just agreed to the plan of her Chinese girlfriend.
Now, it appears that Coleta tapped another person to do the job instead, said Eleazar.
A few months later, the complainant started receiving text messages demanding various amounts from her in exchange for her silence on the alleged mauling of Ces.
“Since then, she often received text messages from various cellphone numbers asking for money in exchange for his silence in the alleged mauling incident,” said Eleazar.
“She further stated that she already provided an accumulated amount of P1.5 million from 2017 up to present which was given twice to Neil (Coleta) and the rest was received by various individuals in different areas,” he added.
The recent demand was last week when the suspect again demanded P250,000 from the complainant. It was then that she sought police assistance which later resulted in the arrest of Baltazar.
Police said that Baltazar was collecting the money in behalf of a certain Eric, who is believed to be the leader of the group which mauled Ces in 2016.
The twist of the story, however, is that the thorough investigation conducted by Eleazar’s men as well as the information squealed by the arrested suspect, revealed that there was no mauling that happened.
“The suspects just made it appear that it happened in order to extort money,” said Eleazar.
A case of robbery-extortion, according to Eleazar, was already referred for inquest proceedings against the arrested suspect.
The same case, according to him, will be filed against certain alias “Eric” who remains at large.