Another alleged victim of ‘kotong’ cop surfaces, files caseBy Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Another man has come forward to accuse Senior Police Officer 4 Jose de la Peña of extorting money from him on false charges.
The 25-year-old sales executive—who asked for anonymity due to the sensitive nature of his job with a private company—filed a robbery complaint against the policeman in the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office the other day.
According to him, De la Peña accused him and his girlfriend of making out in a car, charged them with grave scandal and ordered them to pay a fine of P10,000 each.
He said he thought he was the policeman’s only victim until he heard that the son of the newly appointed National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director, Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina, had also accused De la Peña of accosting him on trumped up charges and trying to extort money from him.
Based on the sales executive’s recollection, he and his girlfriend were talking in his car which was parked outside a bar on Panay Avenue, Quezon City, at 9 p.m. on May 21 when a policeman in a white shirt and blue pants trained a flashlight on them.
He said the policeman accused them of engaging in “petting and necking” and charged them with grave scandal which, the latter informed them, carried a fine of P10,000 per offender.
When the complainant protested that he did not have that kind of money on him, the policeman got into the car with them, took over the wheel and drove off as a police car followed them.
“He told me that he would bring me to the police station [as] we were driving toward Edsa,” the alleged victim told reporters in an interview.
As he drove, the policeman threatened to call in for more backup, a move he claimed would land the couple in even more trouble.
The complainant said he ended up giving P7,000 to the policeman before the latter let them go near the GMA-Kamuning station of the Metro Rail Transit on Edsa.
He added that the following day, he went to Camp Crame to report the incident. After he identified De la Peña as the policeman who extorted money from him the night before, he filed a complaint which was forwarded for action to the NCRPO by Quezon City Police District (QCPD) director Chief Supt. Mario de la Vega in June.
In a visit to the QCPD headquarters Tuesday, Espina said he was not interested in meeting De la Peña and his alleged cohort, PO2 Resty del Rosario.
Both policemen were ordered relieved from the QCPD Mobile Patrol following the Sept. 4 alleged attempt to extort money from the NCRPO chief’s son who was accused by De la Peña of engaging in phone sex while inside his parked car.
“I have 17,000 other men to take care of. He is not a special person … There are other cops with cases,” Espina told reporters.
The day before, De la Peña showed up in public for the first time since the charges were leveled against him and gave himself up to QCPD authorities. Del Rosario, who surfaced last week, has denied the accusation against him and said that he was first paired with De la Peña on Sept. 4. He also claimed that he did not know of his partner’s activities.
Espina noted that his son’s version of the events somehow jived with Del Rosario’s account.
“I also had it checked and it is true that Del Rosario drove for De la Peña for the first time that night,” he said.
According to Espina, the Philippine National Police has “had enough” of kotong law enforcers.
“The police force is no place for you. We will dismiss these men one by one and cleanse the organization,” he said.
Espina added: “Look at De la Peña. He is only one person but what he allegedly did affected the entire police force.”