Cop in GenSan nabbed for extortion

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 23 July) – Police operatives arrested one of their colleagues here on Monday afternoon for allegedly extorting from a sister of a police applicant in exchange for favorable results in the required neuro-psychiatric and medical examination.

Lt. Col. Aldrin Gonzales, public information officer of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-12, identified the suspect as Master Sgt. Arnel Abellera, 46, a member of the Regional Health Service (RHS)-12 based at Camp Fermin Lira here.

He said the suspect was nabbed around 1 p.m. by elements from the Philippine National Police-Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (PNP-IMEG) in an entrapment operation at a Jollibee branch in Crossing Makar, Barangay Labangal.

Gonzales said Abellera was caught in the act of mulcting P50,000 from complainant Phoebe Maraguit, sister of a police applicant from Makilala town in North Cotabato.

Based on Maraguit’s complaint, the suspect supposedly asked for such payment to ensure that her sister will pass the neuro-psychiatric and medical examination administered by RHS-12.

Gonzales said the arrest of Abellera is part of the continuing intensified “internal cleansing” of the PNP.

“It was very unfortunate. There was already a stern warning about this from no less than the PNP chief (Oscar Albayalde) but there are still some who are tempted to do such modus,” he said in an interview over Brigada News FM.

He said Brig. Gen. Eliseo Tam Rasco, the PRO-12 regional director, already ordered a deeper investigation on the matter.

Probers will determine whether Abellera had other cohorts and if there were other victims of the illegal activity, Gonzales said.

Abellera, who is currently detained at the Makar police station, is facing robbery-extortion charges and an administrative case for grave misconduct.

Gonzales urged police applicants in the region to immediately file a report to IMEG or the office of the regional police director if they encounter or monitor similar activities.

“We will not tolerate this kind of activity. They must be stopped to spare other police personnel who are doing their jobs right,” he added. (MindaNews)