PNP: Police captain demands ‘payola’ from ‘loteng’ operator, gets arrested

A police captain who allegedly demanded a weekly “payola” or protection money from a “loteng” operator, an illegal number game, was arrested by the anti-scalawag unit of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Balayan, Batangas on Thursday, Sept. 22.


Operatives of the PNP Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG) nabbed Police Capt. Ruben Marilag, the deputy chief of police of Balayan Municipal Police Station, in an entrapment operation in front of a bank near their station at 4:47 p.m.

Police Brig. Gen. Warren de Leon, acting director of PNP-IMEG, said the operation stemmed from the complaint of Marilag’s victim, who is a resident in the municipality. The victim’s identity was withheld by the IMEG.

Marilag allegedly coerced and intimidated the victim to pay him a weekly payola worth P2,000 for the latter’s loteng operation.

However, the loteng operation had already been stopped since March 2021 when the victim was diagnosed with a stage three colon cancer.

“Despite this, the suspect insists that the victim must pay for his weekly payola amounting to P2,000,” a statement from the PNP-IMEG said.

This prompted the IMEG to hatch an entrapment operation that resulted in Marilag’s arrest.

The operation was jointly conducted by the IMEG Luzon Field Unit, 35th Special Action Company of the PNP Special Action Force (PNP-SAF), Balayan Municipal Police Station, and Batangas Provincial Police Office’s Intelligence Unit.

Recovered from Marilag were the marked money, a service firearm loaded with 14 live ammunition, an inside holster, smartphones, a cap with artificial hair, wallet containing cash, and a PNP ID of the suspect.

Marilag was brought to the PNP-IMEG headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City where he was detained for further investigation. He will face a case for robbery-extortion.