MANILA, Philippines?Five Manila policemen under fire for allegedly taking millions of pesos in ransom paid for a kidnapped Malaysian businessman could be held liable for qualified theft, syndicated estafa and obstruction of justice.
The policemen, led by Senior Inspector Peter Nerviza and assigned to the anti-crime unit of the Manila Police District?s ? Station 5 in Ermita, were scheduled to face inquest proceedings Wednesday afternoon, MPD director Chief Superintendent Roberto Rongavilla said.
They will also be made to undergo a lie detector test ?so we can determine the truth,? Rongavilla said.
The policemen, who had been declared absent without official leave and were the object of a manhunt since March 11, surfaced Tuesday after Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim issued a shoot-to-kill order against them on Monday.
They denied taking a large chunk of the ransom from arrested suspects in the kidnapping of Malaysian trader Eric Sim Chin Tong on March 6. They also denied they went into hiding, saying they were allowed to leave the investigation at the MPD headquarters on March 11.
While Tong said he paid a total of P16.3 million in ransom, the policemen claimed they recovered only P4.2 million from kidnap mastermind Marlon Lopera at the Riviera Mansion in Malate, and P200,000 from the suspects caught in Bulacan on March 7.
Suspicious about what happened to the rest of the ransom, Lim ordered an investigation of Nerviza and his men, who were the ones who raided Lopera?s room.
Lim said only around P10.6 million was missing since the luggage contained less than P15 million from the bank. The P1.3 million from the victim?s office was apparently not recovered from the hotel vault.
In a press conference on Monday, Lim said summary dismissal proceedings had already been initiated against Nerviza and his men, Police Officers 3 Ernesto Peralta, Jefferson Britanico, Mike Ongpauco, and Police Officer 1 Rommel Ocampo.
The commander of Station 5, Superintendent Felipe Cazon Jr., has also been relieved.