MANILA — Four Manila police officers were arrested inside a substation of the Ermita Police Station in Baseco, Tondo for allegedly extorting money from a drug suspect Wednesday evening, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said on Thursday (Nov. 14).
Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas, NCRPO acting director, identified the suspects as Corporals Nickson Mina, Juan Carlo Guzman, Francis Mikko Gagarino and Pat. Tom Hikilan.
“The four were members of the beat patrol of Station 5, MPD (Manila Police District),” he added.
The four were arrested in the act of receiving the marked PHP200,000 from the complainant.
The NCRPO chief said the operation stemmed from the complaint of a woman at the Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group or IMEG, the anti-scalawag unit of the Philippine National Police.
Prior to the complaint, the complainant’s husband Kelvie Panansang was arrested for violation of the anti-illegal drugs law.
An investigation is still being conducted to determine if the operation is legitimate as there have been cases of planting evidence against arrested suspects they want to extort money from.
Sinas said the four policemen initially demanded PHP500,000 for the release of Panansang and that no drug charges would be filed against him.
The amount was later reduced to PHP200,000, he added.
Unknown to the four suspects, the complainant went to Camp Crame to seek assistance from IMEG which led to the entrapment.
Sinas said the four policemen were arrested after receiving the marked money right inside the Baseco Police Community Precinct in Manila.
Seized from them were the marked money, PNP IDs, and PNP-issued short firearms.
“They will be charged (with) extortion in a criminal case and grave misconduct for an administrative case which carries a penalty of dismissal in the police service,” Sinas said.