Cop nabbed for extortion

AGENTS of the Philippine National Police Counter-Intelligence Task Force (PNP-CITF) shortly before noon yesterday arrested a member of the Pasay City Police Station accused of extorting money from ‘habal-habal’ drivers in the area during an entrapment operation, a report to PNP chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde said.

PNP-CITF director, Colonel Romeo M. Caramat Jr. identified the suspect as Staff Sergeant Rommel Macaspac, a beat patroller from the Pasay City police.

The official said that Macaspac was arrested shortly after he received a marked P1,000 bill from a complainant during the sting conducted along Luna Street corner Buendia Avenue, Pasay City at 10:10 a.m. yesterday.

Caramat said  his men, joined by undercover officers from the PNP Intelligence Group under Brigadier General Edgar S. Monsalve, conducted the entrapment operation following a complaint from ‘habal-habal’ driver Rosendo Rama.

The poor man told PNP-CITF investigators that the accused poked a gun on his head and threatened to kill him when he failed to remit the weekly ‘grease money’ worth P2,000 which was supposed to be given by Rama’s group last week.

The complainant likewise claimed that the suspect also took his wife’s P1,500 which was the only money they have at that time.

“The driver said he filed a complaint before our office when the Pasay policeman took his wife’s only money against her will,” Caramat said.

The PNP-CITF said that in coordination with National Capital Region Police Office director, Major General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar, they conducted the entrapment operation which led in the arrest of the suspect who yielded the marked money and a 9mm Beretta pistol with 10 live ammunition.

The suspect was immediately whisked to the PNP-CITF headquarters in Camp Crame shortly after his arrest.

Southern Police District director, Brig. Gen. Eliseo DC Cruz said that apart from criminal charges for robbery-extortion, the accused policeman will also be facing an administrative cases for grave misconduct which will merit his dismissal from the police force once found guilty.

Gen. Albayalde said earlier that ‘battlelines have been drawn’ against police officers and men involved in illegal activities specifically illegal drug trafficking and robbery-extortion.

“We are very serious in targeting rogues in uniform. There is no compromise here,” said Albayalde.

The arrest of Staff Sgt. Macaspac came a day after Gen. Albayalde and Police Regional Office 4-A director, Brig. Gen. Edward E. Carranza led the police force in mourning the death of Patrolman Ariel Dapyawen, a member of the Antipolo City Police Station who was shot dead by an armed drug trafficker in the city on Tuesday.

A companion of Pat. Dapyawen identified as Staff Sgt. Joseph Monjardin was also wounded in the operation in Sitio Sagipin in Barangay de la Paz, Antipolo City and was awarded the Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting.