4 cops accused of extorting money from detained Koreans

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MANILA, Philippines—Four policemen were charged with robbery and extortion on Tuesday for allegedly detaining four Korean tourists last year on a charge of illegal use of marijuana and demanding $30,000 or more than P1 million for their release.

Senior Inspector Glenn Gonzales and Police Officer 2 Richard Sibayan of the Manila Police District’s Sta. Cruz Station, and PO1 George Borabo and PO2 Jolly Aliangan of the Sampaloc Station were named respondents in the case filed in the Manila Regional Trial Court.

Assistant City Prosecutor Jesse Tiburan recommended the robbery extortion case last December  based on the complaint of Kim Youn Ho, 44; Lee Byung Soup, 58; Nam Sang Jik, 56. Do Wan Kuk was also detained but did not execute an affidavit.

In his defense, Gonzales, then chief of the Sta. Cruz Station’s anti-illegal drugs unit, provided documents that he was not present during the alleged extortion.

He was attending a narcotics course conducted by the US Department of Justice’s  International Criminal Investigation Training Assistance Program in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

The counteraffidavits of the three other accused showed that Senior Inspector Paulito Sabulao, former Sampaloc anti-illegal drugs unit chief, was the leader of the operation that arrested the Koreans suspected of using marijuana.

In the complaint, the Koreans said they were supposed to leave on a 2:30 p.m. flight on Feb. 14, 2012, but their tour guide, Choi Jang Tae, convinced them to shop in a nearby mall that morning.

Shortly after the group left Diamond Hotel in Malate, Manila, three men alighted from a van, pointed guns at them and told them to get inside the vehicle, the complaint said.

The Korean tourists said they were taken to a police station, later identified as the Sta. Cruz Station. A button that fell from one of the Koreans’ shirt was found in a room there.

“We were told that we are under arrest because of marijuana found in us which is complete lies as we do not have marijuana and immediately we were shown sachet of marijuana,” the complaint-affidavit said.

“We were told that we can actually settle the case by paying $30,000 in exchange for our release and dropping of cases,” it added.

The Koreans were told to seek help from their tour companions left in the hotel. When the latter refused, the detained tourists were told to contact their family in Korea and deposit $6,000 each in a Hana Bank Korea account under the name of Kim Hae Won.

That afternoon, the Korean tourists were released after payment was confirmed. They sought the help of the Korean Embassy afterward  and filed a complaint. The respondents were identified through the police personal data sheets.

In a counteraffidavit, Sibayan said Sabulao, Borabo and Aliangan of the Sampaloc station coordinated with his unit (Sta. Cruz) for an operation in their area to arrest Koreans suspected of using marijuana.

A certain Tom, later identified as Gi Il Bang, and Choi, the tour guide, were the informants. They also served as interpreters and negotiators during the detention.

Sibayan said he didn’t have any participation or knowledge in the alleged extortion and the Koreans were later released for lack of evidence.

He said sachets of marijuana were found not in the Koreans’ possession but in the police van.

Though the illegal drugs may have been dropped there when the Koreans boarded, it was flimsy evidence to pursue and so he was ordered by then Sta. Cruz station commander Supt. James Afalla to let the Koreans go.

“Hindi makatarungan para sa isang mababang pulis na katulad ko ang idiin sa isang krimen na hindi ko ginawa o namalayan na nangyari dahil sa kakulangan ko ng sapat na aral sa wikang Koreano,” Sibayan said.

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  • Joe_in_Bikol

    This is not news – normal for the cops.

  • Horst Manure

    Good PR for any one wanting to come here as a tourist.

  • go88

    and abnoy expects “hordes of tourists” to flock into the country ….

  • patrickinca

    Where the cops are also robbers! It’s more fun in the Philippines!

  • rouelcalzita

    The policemen glared at the tourists who tried to make a pass at them.

  • MANGLUCIO

    BRING IN THE DEATH PENALTY FOR CROOK POLICEMEN AND CORRUPT GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND I BET YOU WILL BRING END TO THESE ENDLESS
    DEVILISH PRACTICES OF THESE MORONS.

  • legislex

    The procedure used by the policemen in arresting the Koreans is clearly contrary to law, and the reason for their release is really preposterous. Even if they have an informant, the police officers cannot just stop those Koreans and search them without a search warrant. If indeed there are reports of drug possession, the police officers should have applied for a search warrant with the courts or conduct a buy bust operation to justify warrantless arrest.

    Also, the police officers have no discretion to release a suspect or not. The person tasked by law to decide on whether to decide on these issues is the public prosecutor. in cases of warrantless arrests, the police officers merely prepares the affidavits of arrest, mark the evidence, and endorse the entire record to the public prosecutor for inquest proceedings. It is the public prosecutor who decides whether there is basis for a reinvestigation that could result to the release of the suspect, or for the filing of a criminal complaint.

    It is clear that the suspects were released because they already paid the money demanded by the arresting officers. Hindi na nila pinadala kay fiscal ang kaso kasi takot sila na makikihati pa si fiscal.

  • bayankopdi

    Dapat ipakita sa newspapers at tv ang mukha ng mga BUWAYANG PULIS….nakakahiya kayo para aral sa mga pulis na may balak gumaya sa mga KOTONG COPS. SIBAKIN ANG MGA NAKAKAHIYANG PULIS.

  • MonMayuga

    Kailna pa kaya mauubos ang lahi ng mga tulad ng mga ito?

  • Nic Legaspi

    I really miss the death penalty…

  • http://www.facebook.com/noah.ark.925 Noah Ark

    What? Immigration was not involved in this? Maybe they decided to let some others share in the kidnapping for extortion. Bicutan detention center if full of storied like this, foreigners being held illegally for extortion moneY by the legal department of BI

  • pedro Bato

    Kotong cops na naman ! Wala na bang pag asang masugpo talaga yang mga kotong cops na yan ! Kaya nga po ang suggestion ko sa Department of Tourism, bago kayo mag kampanya sa mga foreign tourists na magpunta sa Pilipinas, linisin muna ng gobyerno ang PNP ! Alisin muna ang mga kotong cops sa PNP na nambibiktima ng turista at pati na rin kababayan nilang Pilipino. . .

  • Jake Lopez

    Dapat pag tourist ang biktima, automatic na double ang punishment. Nasaan ang mga magagaling natin mambabatas at leaders? ume-epal din ba kayo sa mga botanteng kriminal? o kakutsaba kayo ng corrupt na pulis

  • $16638896

    nahulidap ng mga demonyong pulis ang kawawang tourista.

  • Ex-Army

    Korean Mafia tied with Pulis patola..

  • Mux

    As I have mentioned many times. ALL police are corrupt! Not a single one is honest or does their job. ALL are corrupt, ALL! ALL! ALL!

  • spiritnsoul700

    The most dangerous and worst place to visit and to have holiday now in Asia is …… The Philippines,

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