PHILIPPINE National Police Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (PNP-IMEG) director, Brigadier General Ronald O. Lee yesterday announced the arrest of a mulcting Zamboanga City traffic policeman during an entrapment operation on Friday afternoon.
In a report to PNP chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, the official identified the suspect as Staff Sergeant Roberto Francisco, a traffic policeman from the Zamboanga City Police Station 10.
“Police Staff Sgt. Francisco has long been the subject of several extortion complaints from habal-habal drivers and local residents who do not have quarantine pass in the city,” Lee said.
The official said the accused was arrested during a sting in Sitio Agrarian in Barangay Labuan at 2:30 p.m. Friday conducted by operatives of the PNP-IMEG Mindanao Field Unit with the support of the Police Regional Office 9 Regional Intelligence Division and the Regional Mobile Group under Brig. Gen. Jesus D. Cambay Jr.
The PNP-IMEG director said the sting was launched following a complaint from ‘habal-habal’ driver Mark Anthony Tenepre, a 25-year-old resident of Bgy. Labuan. The complainant said SSgt. Francisco, a resident of Bgy. Tetuan, impounded Tenepre’s motorcycle last March 29 without issuing a traffic citation ticket.
The suspect first demanded two fighting cocks from the complainant in exchange for the release of his motorcycle but later changed his mind when told by Tenepre that he has no available game fowl.
The policeman then demanded P3,000 from the victim but later reduced his demand to P1,500.
Lee said the complaint was forwarded to their office by the PRO9-RID prompting them to conduct the entrapment operation.
The traffic policeman was placed under arrest shortly after he received the marked bills from the complainant.
Recovered from the rogue cop’s possession were one marked P500 bill, five marked P100 bills, his driver’s license and several identification cards and a caliber .45 semi-automatic pistol with a magazine containing seven live ammunition.
Lee said the gun with serial number 421581 is believed to be a loose firearm since the arrested suspect failed to present its documents from the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office.
The suspect is now being held at the Zamboanga City Police Station 10 lock-up facility facing criminal charges for robbery-extortion, violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, RA 6713 or the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethical Standard and RA 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013.
Cambay also ordered the filing of administrative charges for grave misconduct against the arrested policeman. The case will merit the dismissal from the service of the accused without any benefits.
The arrest of the erring Zamboanga City policeman was the latest to be made by the PNP-IMEG. Last week, members of the unit also arrested Police Master Sergeant Aurelio Pine, a member of the PRO1 Regional Intelligence Division for extortion.
The policeman yielded P100,000 worth of boodle money topped by two marked bills during the sting inside the Rain-Plan Hardware & Construction Supply in Bgy. Pugaro in Balungao, Pangasinan.