Fake NPAs nabbed for extortion

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/28 December) – Nine persons who surrendered last week as New People’s Army rebels are actually members of an extortion gang operating in the city, police said.

The “surrenderees” was led by a certain Brian Duhaylungsod, alias Ka Nilo, supposedly a leader of the Samahang Yunit Propaganda. They surrendered four high powered firearms, including an M60 machinegun.

They reportedly surrendered in order to spend Christmas and New Year with their families.

But the 4th Infantry Division said they did not have any knowledge of the existence and surrender of Duhaylungsod’s group.

“We do not have details about that,” said Major Eugenio Julio Osias IV, commander of the 4th ID Civil Military Operations.

Investigators from the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office started to suspect that Duhaylungsod’s group was into something other than being communist rebels.

“Their leader acted strangely, he is more of a lunatic than a rebel leader,” city police chief Senior Supt. Benedicto Lopez told MindaNews.

They had approached the Military Intelligence Group supposedly to surrender but were not accepted, said Lopez.

Their modus operandi was to surrender as NPAs in order to avail of government incentives for rebel returnees amounting to about P80,000 per person, he added.

Further police investigation revealed that Duhaylungsod’s group was allegedly into extortion and usury.

A source in the intelligence community said that they have been on the trail of Duhaylungod’s group which offers loans to unsuspecting people. Once a loan is granted, they would come back a week after claiming that they need to collect the money as the amount supposedly comes from the NPA that now wants it back. They would then charge a daily interest of 10 percent.

A businesswoman who asked not be named and who had loaned from Duhaylungsod’s group through an emissary, said that she had been incessantly harassed to pay P300,000.00 for a loan of P30,000.00. She said she will file appropriate charges after they can locate the emissary. (BenCyrus G. Ellorin/MindaNews)