By AARON B. RECUENCO
Policemen clashed before dawn yesterday with a group of kidnap-for-ransom syndicate in Taguig City, which resulted in the sacking of the entire force of Western Bicutan police precinct after it turned out that the slain and arrested kidnap men are cops.
Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar, director of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), said that aside from the relief order, he will also subject the 39 members of the Police Community Precinct 1 (Western Bicutan) in Taguig City, including the precinct commander identified as Senior Inspector Joel Villafania.
“The pictures of all the members of the PCP 1 will be shown to the victim for possible identification. All of them, 39 of them are effectively relieved as of today (Tuesday),” said Eleazar.
The official said all the 39 cops will be held under custody of the NCRPO leadership while the investigation are being conducted, the focus is to determine who among them are involved in kidnapping and other illegal activities.
Chief Supt. Tomas Apolinario, director of the Southern Police District (SPD), said the relief stemmed from an operation conducted at around 3:30 a.m. yesterday by operatives of the Taguig City Police Special Operations Unit of Taguig City Police against a KFR group.
The operation resulted in the death of one of the KFR member and arrest of five others. The slain suspect and three others turned out to be policemen.
He identified the slain cop as Police Officer 1 Gererdo Ancheta while the three other arrested as PO1 Bryan Amir Bajoof, PO1 Paolo Ocampo and PO2 Joey Maru, the alleged leader of the group.
Apolinario said his men immediately mapped out an entrapment based on the complaint of Ronielyn Caraecle who told the police and that a group of armed men entered their house in New Lower Bicutan on Monday night and took her and her boyfriend.
The official said the armed men initially took the cash and other personal valuables of the victim. They then took Ronielyn and her boyfriend Samuel.
“They were driven around Arca South in Western Bicutan and were told that they will only be released if they produce R50,000,” said Apolinario.
Ronielyn was released after her relatives were able to produce R20,000. She, however, was instructed to produce P30,000 for the release of her boyfriend.
Ronielyn went to the police for assistance and it was then that the operation was carried out that led to the encounter and eventual rescue of her boyfriend.
“Based on our initial investigation, they also did the same modus a night before entering the house of Ronielyn,” said Apolinario.
The victim then was a certain Moreen del Castillo whose house was allegedly ransacked by the same cops. They also demanded R50,000 for the release of Del Castillo.
Criminal and administrative charges will be filed against the arrested policemen and their possible cohorts.