PNP warns public: beware of fake PDEA agents
The police have warned the public against a group of men posing as agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) who are now facing kidnapping, usurpation of authority and robbery charges.
Nine gang members, all at large, were charged in the complaint filed by the Taguig police in the city prosecutor’s office on Friday. Dressed in dark green PDEA shirts, the group reportedly kidnaps innocent people and extorts money from them to fund their involvement in the illicit drug trade, the police recently learned.
Only 6 identified
With the help of the gang’s victims, authorities were able to identify six of the members with the remaining three listed as John Does.
The group was also charged with violating Republic Act No. 7610, or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.
The suspects allegedly belong to a gang involved in the illegal drug trade. The police know them only as the Ryan dela Cruz group, named after their leader, according to Chief Insp. Ramon Christian Laygo, head of the Taguig police
Dela Cruz, also known as “Mokong,” was one of the six identified poser-agents along with Anthony Ordoñez, Artistotle Go Quintana, Mylene de Vera or “May-May,” Noel Rosas alias “Torio” and a certain “Ghakiez Tekma.”
Although their safehouse was in Quezon City, the group operated throughout Metro Manila, Laygo told the Inquirer. Far from a ragtag group simply trying to make money, the gang’s elaborate modus operandi was their way of acquiring funding for illegal drugs, he added.
Laygo confirmed that none of the gang members listed in the complaint filed on Friday were PDEA agents.
A Toyota Hilux and Mitsubishi Montero Sport belonging to the group had been spotted on Feb. 4 roaming around Barangay Ususan in Taguig City, where they kidnapped three civilians, including a minor, and confronted them with false drug charges in an attempt to extort money.
Police nearly caught group
On Feb. 18, Taguig policemen recovered four sachets of “shabu” (crystal meth), P296,000 in fake bills and two guns — a .30-caliber Carbine rifle and .45-caliber Glock pistol— inside the gang’s Toyota Hilux which had been abandoned by the group in Makati City after they were accosted and chased by the police.
The guns found in the sport utility vehicle did not match any of the firearms in the PDEA’s inventory, according to Taguig City police chief, Senior Supt. Alexander Santos.
This was confirmed by PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino in a television interview in which he said his men were armed with .40-caliber Glock pistols. The agency doesn’t use Carbine rifles, he added.
Illegal PDEA ID cards
On Feb. 24, two men with PDEA identification cards, Jhay-r Repana and Joseph Borjal, were arrested on Feb. 24 in Sta. Rosa, Laguna province. Repana was caught after he figured in a shootout in Parañaque City and yielded a stash of shabu, drug paraphernalia and a .38-caliber revolver. Borjal, on the other hand, tried to settle his case with the police.
The incident prompted Aquino to relieve from their posts PDEA Calabarzon Regional Director Archie Grande after it was determined he had illegally issued and signed the ID cards of Repana and Borjal. Along with Grande, 61 agents and personnel assigned to the operations group were also suspended “after intelligence reports linked them to a series of unlawful arrests and extortion activities in the provinces of Batangas and Cavite.”
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