Iligan traffic cops tagged in extortion nabbed

MANILA Four individuals, including two traffic policemen, have been arrested by operatives of the Philippine National Police's Counter Intelligence Task Force (PNP-CITF) acting on complaints sent to the Office of the President's Citizens Complaint Hotline 8888.

In a press conference Thursday, CITF chief Sr. Supt. Jose Malayo said they conducted an entrapment operation against personnel of the Iligan City Police and the Regional Highway Patrol Unit 10 (RHPU 10) of the Iligan City Highway Patrol Team (ICHPT).

Authorities arrested Sr. Insp. Rolando C. Rigat and SPO2 Crisanto T. Bernardo of the Iligan HPG, along with civilian auxiliary personnel, identified as Mac Harvey T. Abad and Sidney CaAete, after they received PHP3,000 in marked money from the driver of a vehicle who received a traffic citation from them.

CITF personnel, with elements of the Iligan City Police, launched the entrapment operation at about 6:15 p.m. Wednesday.

"The marked money was recovered inside the Comfort Room of the chief, ICHPT when the (erring personnel) attempted to dispose of the marked money. Likewise, small bills of different denominations amounting to PHP5,000 were also recovered from the drawer of the chief, ICHPT," Malayo said.

The operation stemmed from complaints from motorists traversing Macapagal Highway in Iligan City that elements of RHPU 10, ICHPT on board RHPU 10 Mobile Car with body no. 1003, extort money from motorists said to have committed traffic violations.

The four were brought to the Iligan City Police for the filing of appropriate criminal and administrative cases.

Launched in 2016, the Citizen's Complaint Hotline 8888 is dedicated to complaints against fixers, scalawag officials, and poor government services.

Callers are asked to identify the government employee and agency tagged in their complaint, date and details of the incident, their proposed solution, and contact details.

The complaints will be forwarded to both the concerned agency and the Office of the President within five days.

Source: Philippine News Agency