Manila Police District Chief Danao constantly amazes

Manila Police District (MPD) Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao, Jr. is one police officer who never ceases to amaze  the media, myself included, with his bold statements.

Just the other day, he strongly  ‘advised’ (or was it a warning?)  a Northern Police District (NPD) policeman who was nabbed for extortion acivities in Tondo, Manila not to post bail while he (Danao) sits as the MPD chief.

‘Don’t post bail or don’t go out yet while I am here. It will be better if you stay in prison and help there,’ was what Danao said in an interview.  He also said he will not allow anybody from the MPD to tarnish the image of the police, particularly for a measly P50, just like what happened in the case at hand.

This pronouncement from Danao came after operatives from the Manila Police District (MPD) nabbed the said  NPD policeman who was found to be allegedly engaging in extortion activities. He was the subject of complaint by truck drivers whom he allegedly require to pay certain fees in exchange for being allowed to park in Tondo, Manila.

The cop-turned-suspect was one Patrolman Arnel Pastrana Agustin, 35, of Tondo, Manila.  He was, at the time of his arrest, assigned at the  NPD Traffic Enforcement Unit and was subsequently detained at the Manila Police District -General Assignment and Investigation Section (MPD-GAIS).

He was cornered by the Manila District Traffic Enforcement Unit (MDTEU) along Road 10 at around 7 a.m. Charges of  usurpation of authority, robbery extortion and illegal possession of firearms in relation to Omnibus Election Code have been filed against him. 

Corporal Jed Magat of the MDTEU said that based on a complaint lodged by truck driver Rico Aleon, the suspect sought him out and told him to shell out a ‘parking fee’. Thinking Agustin was a Manila policeman, Aleon gave him P50 but the suspect told him the amount was too small. 

Magat and his companion, Police Corporal John Patrick Caranguian, saw what happened and when they approached Agustin, who was then wearing a full police uniform, they  accosted him.  Agustin said he was there just to pee and then ran away.

The cops chased and cornered Agustin, who was then found in possession of a cal .45 gun loaded with eight live ammunition and a butterfly knife.

Reports reaching Danao’s office said that Agustin had long been the subject of complaint by truck drivers who allege that Agustin had been mulcting them.

Police Staff Sergeant Kaiser Mijares said that on verification, it was discovered that the suspect was previously dismissed from the service but managed to return in 2013. 

Allegedly, he always introduced himself as a member of the MPD and had been engaging in extortion activities for the past three years.  He was on duty when nabbed.

A visibly irked Danao said he sees no reason for any cop  to still engage in extortion activities, specially after President Rodrigo Duterte already raised the salaries of  the police by a hundred percent, as in the case of a PO1 or a PO2 like Agustin.

Before this, Danao said that if he were in the shoes of the cop whose photo went viral after a Chinese woman poured ‘taho’ on his uniform, he would have slapped the said woman.  He told me this while I video-recorded my interview.

And then again, during the incident where human wastes were unloaded in front of a hotel in Manila, Danao warned the one responsible to hide well because once he (Danao) gets hold of him, he will make the suspect  drink up  all the wastes he had dumped.

Now, Danao warns the NPD cop who engaged in extortion activities in his (Danao’s) area of jurisdiction to not post bail and instead stay in detention and just be of help to the police station where he is detained.

All that one has got to do is read between the lines. 

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