11 QC cops relieved for extortion
Eleven policemen from the Quezon City Police District (QCPD), including the station commander and the station drug enforcement unit (SDEU) head, were relieved from their posts on Friday after an arrested drug suspect accused them of extortion.
QCPD director Chief Supt. Joselito Esquivel said he had relieved SDEU shift members PO2 Noel Sanchez, PO1s Edward Ramos, Michael Eric Ramirez, Ray John Rodriguez, Gaudencio Escoton Jr., Sepzon Suclad, John Ryan Rodriguez, Dennis Eria and Leny Atma.
Also ordered relieved for command responsibility by National Capital Region Police Office Director Camilo Cascolan were QCPD station 11 commander Supt. Igmedio Bernaldez and QCPD Station 11 Galas antidrugs unit head Chief Insp. Erwin Guevarra.
All policemen are currently under restrictive custody at the QCPD headquarters in Camp Karingal.
In a report reaching the Quezon City Police District, seven of the nine policemen were arrested in an “entrapment operation” set up by the QCPD intelligence division, special operations and special reaction unit members around 11 p.m. on Thursday.
Esquivel told reporters the arrest was based on the complaint of Lorenzo Miguel Soriano, nephew of Flexis Jefferey Soriano, 40, who said the accused policemen had demanded P200,000 in exchange for the liberty of his uncle while they were detained at the Galas Police station on Thursday.
According to a May 3 spot report by the Galas Police station, the older Soriano, his driver Efren Ferrer, 45, and businessman Celso Luna, 30, were arrested for the sale and possession of three sachets of suspected “shabu,” conspiracy and illegal possession of firearm during an alleged buy-bust operation on E. Rodriguez corner Tomas Morato, Barangay Kristong Hari, Quezon City, around 6 p.m.
The complainant, accompanied by his lawyer, claimed he “delivered” the P200,000 to the accused policemen around 9:20 a.m. on the same day inside the SDEU office where he was told to wait for the release of his uncle.
However, the arresting officers, he said, demanded for an additional P100,000 prompting him to seek police assistance around 5:30 p.m.
Belated spot report
The complainant also noted that the police arrested his uncle at 4:30 a.m. on Thursday, not 6 p.m. as indicated in the station’s belated spot report.
The incident was also initially not in the blotter report, the investigation showed.
Esquivel said he immediately asked his officers to verify the report.
The report said the police officers were not able to witness the actual turnover of the P100,000 by the driver Arnel Rafanan to the accused policemen as he was flagged and held by jailer PO2 Marco Comboya.
The arresting policemen proceeded with the arrest despite the unconsummated entrapment operation, the report said.
The seven policemen had been assigned to the SDEU of Galas for seven months already, Esquivel said.
Esquivel said they were still verifying the affiliations and activities of the accused policemen. An investigation is still ongoing.