By AARON RECUENCO
Agents of the anti-scalawag unit of the Philippine National Police (PNP) arrested early yesterday morning two of the six members of Manila Police District (MPD) accused of extorting money from a group of persons they apprehended for sex trafficking.
Counter-Intelligence Task Force (CITF) commander Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat identified the arrested cops as Police Officers 1 Erdie Bautista and MJ Cerilla.
Four other MPD cops remain at large. They were identified as PO3 Michael Chavez, PO3 Dindo Encina, PO1 Arcadio Orbis, and PO Martinico Mario.
All the cops are assigned to the District Special Operations Unit (DSOU) of the MPD.
A few hours after the arrest, the wife of one of the suspects sought the assistance of the CITF after the policemen allegedly demanded R100,000 from her in exchange for the release of her husband.
Caramat said the extortion demand was later reduced to R50,000. But it was then that CITF operatives mapped out an entrapment.
At around 12:30 a.m. yesterday, the complainant brought the money to the MPD headquarters where it was allegedly received by an errand boy of the erring cops.
It was then that the CITF operatives, in coordination with the MPD leadership, announced the arrest.
“During the said operation, the CITF operatives were able to rescue the arrested persons inside DSOU Office,” said Caramat.
“Upon verification on their record, there was no official blotter entry on their arrest and no spot report was submitted,” he added.
It was recalled that last week, exactly the same modus was done by the entire anti-drugs unit of Muntinlupa City against a woman whom they arrested and brought to the police station, along with her seven-year-old son, for alleged drugs violation.
The cops also allegedly ransacked the house of the alleged drug suspects and later demanded money from her live-in partner. Some of the items stolen from the house of the suspect, including a television, were recovered from the cars of the erring Muntinlupa cops.
During the operation, it was also found out that the cops have no pre or after operation report of the arrest of the woman.
The incident resulted in the relief of the Muntinlupa City Police chief.
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