Mulcting police sergeant nabbed in Pangasinan

Published July 24, 2020, 3:01 PM

by Liezle Basa Iñigo

PANGASINAN – A police officer was arrested in an entrapment operation after he extorted P100,000 from a victim in Balungao, Pangasinan.

Police Region 1 Office (PRO-1) Director Brig. Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. identified the erring police officer as Master Sgt. Aurelio Bustillos Pine, who was assigned at the Regional Drug Enforcement Unit PRO-1.

He was arrested by operatives of the PNP Luzon Field Unit-Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG), Regional Intelligence Division PRO-1, and Balungao Police Station.

Azurin said lawmen conducted the entrapment operation after receiving a complaint from businessman Ricky Sanchez, owner of a hardware store in Barangay Pguaro, Balungao town.

Sanchez said the suspect called him up, informing him that his name was included in a list of members of a gun-for-hire group that was also involved in the illegal drugs trade in the region.

Pine allegedly offered to help in deleting his name from list in exchange for P100,000.

This prompted the complainant to report Pine to higher authorities, who immediately sprung the entrapment operation at around 6:15 a.m., Thursday, July 23, at Sanchez’s store.

Recovered from the suspect was the marked money amounting to P100,000, his PNP-issued Glock 17 pistol, and a caliber-.45 Norinco personal firearm with expired license.

Pine was disarmed and is now under the custody of the Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (PNP-IMEG). Appropriate criminal and administrative charges will be filed against him.

Meanwhile, the IMEG has launched an investigation to determine if Pine has victimized other individuals using the same scheme.

IMEG chief Police Brigadier Gen. Ronald Lee urged the public to report uniformed and non-uniformed personnel who are linked to any illegal activities through the PNP-IMEG hotlines: 0998-970-2286 (Smart) or  0995-795-2569 (Globe). 

He said information may also be forwarded to the IMEG’s Facebook page at Integrity Monitoring, and Enforcement Group and Twitter account @imeg2017. (With a report from Martin Sadongdong)