They are rookies and wannabes pulling off a racket like veterans.
Three low-ranking policemen and a civilian pretending to be an officer landed behind bars for alleged robbery and extortion, their scheme involving the use of a male prostitute as bait, according to the Quezon City Police District.
PO1s Ryan Parungo, Dennis Maagda and Ronnel Biag and their civilian cohort Dominic Laudio are accused of taking the valuables of a man whom they had arrested for public scandal and later demanding P10,000 for the charge to be dropped.
The three officers, all members of the QCPD’s Anonas station, were arrested in an entrapment operation Thursday night on the parking lot of a fast food outlet in Philcoa, Quezon City.
Laudio, 28, was apprehended the previous night. He allegedly joined the racket by pretending to be PO1 Orlando Panal, another member of the Anonas station.
Insp. Alan de la Cruz of the QCPD’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU) said they were arrested based on the complaint from a 29-year-old man from Rosario, Cavite province.
According to PO3 Jamie de Jesus, the case investigator, the Cavite resident was in a Quezon City mall around 9 p.m. Wednesday when he was approached by a man offering sexual favors and who introduced himself only as Renz.
They later went to the fast food outlet in Philcoa, where they were “arrested” by Parungo, Maagda and the civilian Laudio who was also in police uniform, De Jesus said.
The suspects threatened to file a case unless the complainant coughs up P25,000. They eventually reduced the amount to P10,000.
The complainant agreed to produce the money within the next few hours since his ATM accounts were short of funds, and was forced to leave his mobile phone, watch, IDs and two ATM cards with the suspects.
What became of Renz after that was not immediately known, but De la Cruz said the suspects used him to find a target.
The complainant instead went to the Masambong station to report what happened. An entrapment operation led to the arrest of Laudio later that night, when he returned to the fast food outlet to get the money from the complainant.
With Laudio’s cooperation, another trap was set, this time for Parungo and Maagda. The two officers—plus Biag—arrived at the same area in a patrol car to get their share of the kotong money.
Their fellow QCPD members from the CIDU and Masambong police station moved in for the arrest after money changed hands.