PNP probing Manila cops accused of extorting money from curfew violators
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police’s Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS) has been directed to investigate six Manila Police District (MPD) officers for allegedly extorting money from curfew violators in the city, police chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said.
Eleazar said in a statement that reports have reached his office about six MPD cops who allegedly extorted money from two curfew violators along Luzon Street in Tondo, Manila, last Thursday, October 14.
One of the violators apprehended was a chairperson of a Sangguniang Kabataan in the area. After being caught by the police, a tube pipe which was considered drug paraphernalia was seized from the two, but no illegal drugs were confiscated.
The two were then brought to the Padre Algue Police Community Precinct, where the officers — carrying the ranks of patrolman, police staff sergeant, and police corporal — asked money in exchange for their freedom. The violators managed to raise around P47,000 by pawning their motorcycle and a gold necklace.
After being freed, the two reported the alleged extortion to other police offices. Currently, MPD is investigating the incident, while disarming the officers who are now facing criminal complaints.
“Both administrative and criminal cases would be filed against these policemen depending on the outcome of the investigation,” Eleazar said.
“And I assure the public that I will personally monitor the progress of the investigation of our Internal Affairs Service as well as the conduct of investigation on the revelation made by our former Chief PNP, Sen Panfilo Lacson about cases of extortion in Manila,” he added.
Eleazar was referring to Lacson’s recent claims that ‘kotong’ cops or corrupt police officers seeking money from ordinary traders are back in Manila amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lacson said that this scheme puts traders like vegetable vendors at a disadvantage financially.
Despite the incident, Eleazar said that he commends the MPD for acting on the complaint immediately.
“I commend the Manila Police District for acting on the complaint of extortion that led to the arrest of these 6 policemen. Let this serve as an assurance to our kababayan that we will not tolerate these illegal activity and we are serious in weeding out these kinds of policemen from our ranks,” Eleazar said.
“Hindi natin palalagpasin ito lalo na kapag napatunayan sa imbestigasyon na sangkot sila sa kalokohang ito,” he added.
(If proven that they indeed had a role in this incident, we would not let them get away with it.)
Eleazar said that this incident should be a reminder to all police officers that the PNP leadership is being serious on reports of police officers’ abusive behavior.
“The PNP takes every report of wrongdoings of rogue cops seriously. Binabalaan ko ang mga pulis na sangkot sa mga ganitong gawain na tumigil na dahil kung hindi ay mananagot kayo sa akin. Sisiguraduhin ko na bukod sa asunto sa korte ay matatanggal kayo sa serbisyo,” he added.
(The PNP takes every report of wrongdoings of rogue cops seriously. I am warning the police officers involved in these kinds of activities to stop because they would be held accountable under my watch. I will make sure that aside from cases before the court, you will be removed from the service.)
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