GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 19 Sep) – Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested during an entrapment operation Tuesday afternoon the manager and the news director of a radio station here for allegedly extorting P5 million from a pastor-businessman.
Higher management of Bombo Radyo, however, said it was a “setup” and promised an “all-out support” to the two, “provid(ing) them with lawyers and bail money.”
Lawyer Regner Peneza, acting head of the NBI Sarangani District Office, said Wednesday suspects Jonathan Macailing alias “Jan-Jan” and Salvador Galano alias “Boy” were nabbed during an entrapment operation past 3 p.m. inside the Robinsons Mall in Barangay Lagao.
Macailing is the station manager of dxES-AM Bombo Radyo here while Galano serves as its news director.
Peneza said they initially received a complaint last week from pastor-businessman Joel Apolinario regarding an alleged extortion involving Macailing.
He said Macailing was supposedly asking for the payment of P10 million in exchange for the stoppage of the almost daily hard-hitting commentaries by the station on Apolinario’s organization Kabus Padatoon (Make the poor rich) or Kappa.
Apolinario is the founder of Kappa, a group offering an investment scheme that had been declared unauthorized by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
Kappa, which is affiliated with an independent religious group headed by Apolinario, mainly offers 30 percent monthly payouts for investments from its members.
The group, which previously operated in Caraga Region, is presently based in Alabel town in Sarangani Province.
“According to the complainant, they already had a previous transaction and payment was made. But the suspect again made another demand that reportedly reached P10 million,” Peneza told reporters.
Sources said Apolinario had paid P400,000 to Macailing in a bid to stop the commentaries against Kappa.
Peneza said Macailing and Apolinario eventually settled for P5 million and that the payment will be made at the Land Bank branch in Alabel.
The radio station manager changed the venue to a certain area along the national highway, prompting the NBI to seek assistance from the Police Regional Office-12’s Regional Mobile Force Battalion, he said.
“He again changed the venue, probably to sweep their movement, and agreed to do it in a restaurant inside the mall (Robinsons),” he said.
Peneza said Macailing, accompanied by Galano, met with Apolinario, who eventually gave a backpack containing the P5 million cash to the suspects.
He said they then made the arrest moments after the two suspects emerged from the restaurant.
NBI showed footages of the alleged transaction inside the restaurant between Apolinario and the suspects, whose fingerprints were reportedly found in the money used for the entrapment.
Peneza said the suspects would be charged with “robbery extortion with threat and intimidation” under Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code.
Macailing, who is currently in the custody of the NBI here, has denied the accusations and called it a “frame up” to force him to stop his commentaries against Kappa.
“I never saw nor touched the money,” Macailing said in a cellphone video taken by a colleague after his arrest.
He said Apolinario arranged to meet with him but there was no prior discussion about money or any demand for payment.
Macailing, in an interview over TV Patrol South Central Mindanao, said he wanted to meet with Apolinario to “clear some things” about his being “critical” against Kappa.
He also wanted to discuss a possible sponsorship for the radio station’s bloodletting project should the latter “make an (monetary) offer.”
“I told my staff about that (sponsorship) and they all agreed. Should they (Kappa) make an offer, I don’t want to be the only one ending up happy. I can’t swallow that,” he added.
Radyo Bombo manager for Mindanao Ricky Collado, however, backed his subordinates.
“It was a setup,” he said, and vowed that top management would provide lawyers and bail money. “We are providing them all-out support,” he added.
Collado said their two broadcasters have been persistently tackling KAPPA, allegedly as a multi-level pyramiding scam, and warning the public about falling prey to its scheme.
The Securities and Exchange Commission said in an advisory in March last year that KAPPA does not have a license from the agency and thus not authorized to solicit investments, which require a secondary license as provided under Sec. 8.1 of the Securities Regulation Code.
Collado said that Macailing had offered to resign if it could be proven that he received money from Apolinario. He added that they wanted the restaurant’s CCTV footage to be made public for the truth to come out. (MindaNews / with reports from Bong S. Sarmiento)