Cop, pal nabbed for extorting money from US Navy manBy Kristine Felisse Mangunay
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines– Another policeman is in hot water for extortion.
Soon after SPO4 Jose dela Peña was dismissed on charges he extorted money from a motorist who turned out to be the son of a high-ranking police official, another policeman is facing multiple charges for allegedly holding at gunpoint a US Navy man and seizing P18,000 of his money in a bar in Marikina City early Monday morning.
According to Senior Supt. Gabriel Lopez, chief of police, the charges of robbery with intimidation were filed on Monday against SPO1 Edgar Mejia, 39, who is assigned to the Regional Police Intelligence Operations Unit.
The same charges, Lopez said, have been filed against Joel Nocino, 24, who works as a maintenance man of the same unit, and their still unidentified cohort.
Based on initial investigation, Don Ancheta, who was to be deployed to Hawaii Monday night, was having a farewell party with several of his friends in NightShift Disco Bar in Barangay Concepcion Uno when the incident happened.
Ancheta’s companions went to the restroom and left him alone inside the VIP room at 12:15 a.m. Monday.
According to Ancheta, it was at this point when Mejia and Nocino barged in, introduced themselves as policemen, and accused him of illegal possession of drugs.
Mejia, Ancheta said, held him at gunpoint, while he and Nocino began searching him.
They took the P18,000 in cash I had with me, Ancheta said.
He added that Mejia had with him two sachets of “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride), which he kept on forcing on him.
“They wanted to frame me,” he explained.
As soon as Ancheta’s companions arrived, a commotion ensued.
Ancheta said that Mejia fired a warning shot into the air, after which he and Nocino boarded a motorcycle.
He told investigators that their other companion, who possibly served as a lookout, boarded a separate motorcycle.
Policemen who were patrolling in the area saw the commotion and chased the suspects on J.P. Rizal St.
Upon reaching a narrow part of the road, the suspects ended up losing control of the vehicle and fell into the Tumana River.
They were arrested by responding policemen.
Although Lopez said that no money, plastic sachets, or gun was recovered from Nocino or Mejia, it was possible the items had all fallen into the river.
Aside from the criminal charge, Chief Supt. Miguel Laurel, Eastern Police District director, said that Mejia will have to face an administrative case to be filed by the RPIOU.
Lopez said that Mejia has refused to undergo a paraffin test.
Both Nocino and Mejia refused to give any statement when sought for comment by reporters.