CIDG arrests 3 in Gensan for extortion using PNP, government names

CIDG arrests 3 in Gensan for extortion using PNP, government names
Photo by Third Ann Peralta-Malonzo

THE Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) arrested on Thursday evening, June 27, 2024, three individuals who are using the name of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Rommel Marbil and other high-ranking government officials to extort illegal gambling operators in the Mindanao region.

In a press conference, CIDG Director Major General Leo Francisco said Ralph Stephen Abrenica from San Juan, Batangas, and Jeffrey Sison and Neil Toledo, both from Pasig City, were arrested during a dragnet operation in Barangay Labangal, General Santos City.

“They were in Mindanao region for a very good reason. They are using the name of the director CIDG, the name of the chief PNP and other government personalities in their nefarious activities, specifically, they are meeting the illegal gambling operators in that region to collect money,” Francisco said.

“May mga impormasyon na matagal na ito and yun ‘yung tinatrabaho namin. Bina-background namin kasi lagi na lang ganito ‘yung mga impormasyon na may mga ginagamit na pangalan ng mga bagong umuupong matataas na opisyal ng PNP, including matataas na opisyal ng ating gobyerno,” he added.

(There is information that this has been going on for a long time, and that's what we are working on. We are background-checking because these are always the types of information that involve the use of the names of newly appointed high-ranking officials of the PNP, including high-ranking officials of our government.)

Francisco said based on initial information, the suspects were demanding P2.5 million from each victim for the "protection" of their illegal activities.

He said they are also looking into the scope of the extortion activities of the suspects, whether they are part of a larger group, and the potential involvement of high-ranking officials of the PNP.

“Kasama yun sa tinitingnan natin para makita natin bakit kung saan kumukuha ng lakas ng loob itong mga tao na ito,” the official said.

(Part of what we are looking into is to understand why these people gather the courage to do this.)

“I am warning the public not to follow in the demand of these personalities,” he added.

Charges for illegal possession of firearms and explosives and complaints for estafa will be filed against the arrested suspects. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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