Police sergeant lands in jail after extorting P100K from PNP applicant

Published June 1, 2021, 5:08 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has arrested a police sergeant who allegedly extorted P100,000 from a police applicant suffering from health issues during an entrapment operation in Caloocan City on Monday, May 31.

GOTCHA–Police Staff Sergeant Joel Bunagan was arrested in Caloocan City on May 31, 2021 after he allegedly extorted P100,000 from a PNP applicant who has health issues. Bunagan is an ambulance driver at the PNP General Hospital. (Mugshot courtesy of PNP)

PNP Chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar identified the suspect as Police Staff Sergeant Joel Bunagan, 37, an ambulance driver of the PNP General Hospital.

Eleazar said Bunagan was nabbed by operatives of the PNP Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG) based on the complaint of a male police applicant that the suspect had been demanding P100,000 from him in exchange for his passage in the PNP recruitment process.

Undercover cops collared Bunagan after he took the marked money during the entrapment operation, which was carried out at 3 p.m. Monday in Barangay 175, Camarin, Caloocan.

Eleazar said this was not the first time that Bunagan was arrested over extortion.

Bunagan was first arrested in an April 8, 2020 entrapment in Novaliches, Quezon City by operatives of the IMEG and the Intelligence Group “which validated his involvement in extorting cash ranging from P100,000 to P150,000 from PNP applicants with health issues”.

The suspect’s modus involves him sweet-talking police applicants into giving him a hefty amount in exchange for the “smooth processing” of their papers despise them having medical issues.

“Inaalam natin kung paano nanatili pa sa serbisyo ang ungas na pulis na ito. Tutukuyin natin kung sino ang mga kasabwat ng Bunagan na iyan at kanyang mga nilapitan para ‘di masibak sa pwesto. Dapat magsama-sama sila sa kulungan (We are investigating how this undesirable cop has been able to remain in the service. We will identify the cohorts of this Bunagan so that they will also get dismissed from their posts. They should all be in jail),” Eleazar said.

“Sobrang tapang din ng hiya nito na nahuli na dati at nabuko, nakasuhan pa pero hindi pa rin tumigil sa kabulastugan (This cop is utterly shameless since he did not stop his illegal activities even after being caught and charged the first time),” he added.

Bunagan was subjected to administrative proceedings and was already indicted last year. He was out on bail at the time of his arrest last Monday.

Eleazar ordered the immediate filing of criminal charges and the initiation of summary dismissal proceedings against Bunagan, who is under the custody of IMEG.

Recovered from the suspect was the P1,000-bill that was used as marked money, an iPhone, and a Keeway 125 blue and black motorcycle.

He is facing criminal charges, including violation of Republic Act (RA) No.11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Act of 2018.