Notorious extortionist falls

A 50-YEAR-old woman believed to be posing as a New People’s Army rebel to extort money from moneyed residents of Negros Oriental was arrested by combined agents of the Police Regional Office 7 and the National Bureau of Investigation during an entrapment operation on Tuesday noon, PRO7 director, Brigadier General Debold M. Sinas announced yesterday.

Suspect Ivy Tordillos, a resident of San Fernando, Talisay, Negros Occidental was placed under arrest by undercover officers shortly after she picked up the marked money given by her  victim in the vicinity of Purok 2 in Barangay Cangmating, Sibulan, Negros Oriental 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, the official said.

According to Sinas, the entrapment operation was launched following a complaint from one Marian Leviste regarding the presence of a group of persons who have claimed they were NPA rebels and are extorting money from her.

It turned out that last March 23, Leviste received a text message from the unknown number 09977389677 informing her that they are NPA members who want her to produce P300,000 in protection money from her and her husband Leo. The Levistes operate a trucking business in the area.

The couple was told by the message sender that they know their family’s routine including their routine morning walk at the local beach and threatened the two that something bad will happen to them if they fail to heed the NPA demand.

Sinas said that the couple did not report the matter to the local police for fear of reprisal from the suspects and instead decided to give in to the demand. After getting the money, the extortionist told the couple they would no longer disturb them since they were already leaving for Mindanao.

The official said that last April 15, the woman received another text message from unknown number 09550895338 stating that she was a traitor for informing the police of the presence of their comrades who were captured in Mabinay area.

The text sender told the woman that they have killed a barangay captain in Manjuyod municipality for the same offense and again demanded P250,000 from the complainant. Again, the money was given by the couple.