Police arrest 2 fake mediamen-A A +A
Thursday, September 12, 2013
FLORIDABLANCA -- Two men posing as media practitioners from a local paper in the province were arrested by police authorities, after trying to extort money from a barangay official here.
Superintendent Johanna Ponseca-Rosales, this town's police chief, identified the suspects as Jaime Pareño Jr., 68, and Crisanto Cepcon, 53, both residents of Sta. Lucia Resettlement Center in Magalang town.
According to Ponseca, the two also claimed to be reporters of a community weekly tabloid called Pinoy Tribune.
Ponseca said the suspects were forcing Barangay San Isidro officials to pay for a feature article, which they will purportedly publish in a local paper, in time for the October barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.
The suspects also claimed that they have been deputized by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to monitor the forthcoming elections.
Barangay councilors Eduardo Nuqui and Victorio Mallari, who became suspicious of the suspects’ activities, called for police assistance leading to the suspects' arrest.
Ponseca said the duo showed different press cards to the arresting team and repeatedly claimed they were members of the media while being taken to the police station.
During initial investigation, the suspects admitted soliciting money from barangay officials who seek local positions in the forthcoming elections by publishing an article with their profiles and accomplishments.
Ponseca-Rosales called the local daily to check if the suspects are legitimate staff of the paper, but discovered they were not.
She said their modus operandi was timely for the October elections, as more barangay officials fall victims to this kind of operation.
Seized from the suspects were copies of the local paper where they claim to belong, two butterfly knives and a motorcycle.
Criminal complaints, including estafa and illegal possession of deadly weapon, have been filed before the City Prosecutor’s Office in the City of San Fernando against the suspects.
The suspects are now detained at the Floridablanca police station.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 13, 2013.