Two police officers arrested for extortion in Masbate City

Published July 13, 2020, 7:51 AM

by Aaron Recuenco 

A police major and a police sergeant were arrested after an entrapment conducted by the police’s Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG) over their extortion racket victimizing owners of fishing vessels in the Bicol Region.


Nabbed were Maj. John Murray Cutaran, head of the 502nd Maritime Police Station based in Masbate City, and Staff Sgt. Rommel Naval.

IMEG director Brig. Gen. Ronald Lee said manhunt operations are now being conducted against two other cohorts of Cutaran, identified as Police Lt. Melencio Huela and Staff Sgt. Ronald Puerto.

“The entrapment operation was conducted following a series of validation of intelligence reports regarding the alleged extortion activities of Maj. Cutaran and his men,” said Lee.

The official said the latest report that served as the basis of their operation was the interception of a fishing vessel and the arrest of its skipper and 28 crew.

Lee said the group of Cutaran contacted the owner of the fishing vessel based in Cebu and demanded P400,000 in exchange for the release of the vessel and its crew.

He said the fishing boat operator sought their help to arrest the erring policemen and traveled all the way from Bantayan Island to Masbate City on board another boat while accompanied by undercover IMEG officers.

Lee said the two were collared in an entrapment at Pier Site in Barangay Bapor, Masbate City on Sunday morning after receiving P200,000 marked money.

“They were immediately disarmed and taken to the Masbate Provincial Police Office. We will be filing criminal and administrative charges against them,” said Lee.

Lee urged the public to seek their assistance against erring policemen by contacting PNP-IMEG through its hotlines: Smart- 09989702286 or Globe- 09957952569.

He said information may also be forwarded to the PNP-IMEG’s Facebook Page: Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group and Twitter account : @imeg2017.