6 posing as DILG official, ‘journalists’ nabbed for extortion
ORANI, Bataan – Six people who were posing as an official of Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and as “journalists” were caught extorting P4,000 from an amusement games operator on Saturday night.
Police said Manila resident Cynthia Gabinay, 61, pretended to be a DILG employee tasked to monitor illegal gambling activities. She was accompanied by a group claiming to be staffers of an obscure publication called “MHG News” who extorted money from amusement operator Henry Guanzon in Barangay (village) Mulawin.
Police Staff Sergeant Andhy Saludares and Mulawin village chairman Marvin dela Cruz caught the group receiving the cash.
Gabinay had earlier visited Dela Cruz’s office to seek assistance, claiming she was ordered to clamp down on gambling activities in Orani. But Dela Cruz said she could not produce any written directive from the agency.
Aside from Gabinay, also facing extortion charges were Randy Abano, 54, and Myrna Gomez, 47, both of Antipolo city; Ilocos Sur resident Benny Billones, 68; Dolores Quides, 60, and Reynaldo Gomez, 43.
Two other suspects – Rowena Banihit and Maria Victoria Villegas – managed to flee.
Police said Gabinay’s handbag contained various media identification cards./je
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