Soldier arrested for extortion in Sibugay

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/07 July) – A soldier was arrested in an entrapment for allegedly extorting P30,000 from a municipal treasurer in Zamboanga Sibugay province, Chief Insp. Ariel Huesca, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office-9 (PRO-9) said Sunday.

Huesca said Sgt. Francisco Mabanag, Jr. was arrested in an entrapment operation shortly after 3 p.m. Saturday in Barangay Monching, Siay town.

Mabanag is assigned with the intelligence security group based in this city.

Mabanag was arrested based on a complaint filed by Siay municipal treasurer Susan Bayawa.

Bayawa reported to the Siay police that she received a death threat through call and text messages from an unidentified person.

Huesca said Mabanag reportedly intervened and demanded P30,000 from Bayawa to be given to the one who threatened her, in exchange for her safety.

At first, he said, the suspect ordered Bayawa to personally deliver to him the money in this city but the latter declined for security reasons.

Mabanag then reportedly ordered Bayawa to send the money through a commercial courier service but the latter also declined to do so.

Huesca said this prompted the soldier to travel to Siay town to personally pick up the money where he was arrested. The soldier was unaware of the entrapment operation, Huesca said.

Recovered from the suspect’s possession was P7,000 marked money, a .45 caliber pistol with 10 rounds of ammunition, a grenade, seven bullets from caliber 5.56 rifle and personal belongings, Huesca said.

The suspect has been detained and charges are set to be filed against him, Huesca said. (MindaNews)