Gotcha! PNP spokesman nabs cops in extortion try
MANILA, Philippines—Two Quezon City policemen who allegedly tried to extort money from a motorist got the surprise of their lives when Philippine National Police spokesman Chief Superintendent Theodore Ruben Sindac turned up Tuesday night to bust them.
Police Officer 1 Roland Mansibang and PO1 Ronaldo Englis, both assigned to the Quezon City Police District’s Galas station, were immediately taken into custody by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit and now face an extortion charge in the city prosecutor’s office. They also face possible dismissal from the service.
QCPD director Chief Supt. Richard Albano said that Sindac had come to the aid of 22-year-old Rodolfo Eduardo Santiago, who managed to call him while the Galas station policemen were allegedly demanding cash in exchange for dropping a trumped-up public scandal charge against him and a female companion.
Albano said that Sindac’s son was Santiago’s college classmate, which was why the motorist had access to the PNP spokesman’s mobile phone number.
Based on Santiago’s complaint, he and his 21-year-old girlfriend were inside his car, which was parked on 8th Street in New Manila around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday when two policemen, later identified as Mansibang and Englis, knocked on the window, shining flashlights.
He was ordered to get out of the car and was asked for his driver’s license. Santiago claimed Mansibang threatened to charge him and his companion with public scandal for which the fine was P20,000.
“I asked him (Mansibang) how we would proceed from there, to which he responded that if we wished to avoid any public incident, and threatened that the media would be involved, we would have to pay that amount (P20,000),” Santiago said in his affidavit.
When the complainant told Mansibang that he did not have the money, the policeman allegedly asked him how much was in his wallet and when he replied P4,000, he was allegedly told to withdraw some money from an ATM. It was then that he started calling Sindac.
When Mansibang was told by Santiago that he was able to get in touch with the PNP spokesman, the policeman apparently thought it was a bluff and instructed the motorist and his girlfriend to proceed to the Greenhills Town Center on Granada Street in Barangay Valencia where they were met by several other policemen.
It was there that members of his family along with Sindac arrived. Sindac spoke to Mansibang, Englis and the other policemen and directed them all to report to the QCPD-CIDU. He also asked Albano to order an investigation for the possible discharge of the policemen for the alleged extortion try.
Albano said Mansibang and Englis have been disarmed, relieved of their badges and police IDs and taken into custody by the QCPD-CIDU for the incident. All other policemen involved in the incident have been called in for investigation.
“We will not tolerate rogues in our ranks. It is good that the incident was reported immediately and the complaint promptly filed. It will help us cleanse our ranks of scalawags,” the QCPD director said.
The two policemen denied the extortion try and told the Inquirer that they were on patrol when they spotted members of the QCPD tactical motorcycle riders unit accosting a motorist.
“We never asked him (Santiago) for money. He was just turned over to us by the TMRU. We just happened to be there when General Sindac arrived,” Englis said.
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