UNDERCOVER officers on Thursday arrested a member of the Lanao del Sur Police Provincial Office and his civilian cohort for allegedly extorting P25,000 from each police applicant with the promise of facilitating their entry into the organization even if they are unqualified, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region Police Regional Office director, Brigadier General Marni C. Marcos Jr. announced yesterday.
Marcos identified the suspects as Corporal Harold Julaton, a 31-year-old Liaison Officer of the Lanao del Sur PPO residing in Barangay Making, Parang, Maguindanao and his neighbor Janet Sarip,49.
In a report to Philippine National Police Officer-in-Charge, Lieutenant General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, the PRO-BAR police director said that their investigation showed that the two suspects have gained notoriety for extorting money from PNP applicants especially those who have issues on the Body Mass Index (BMI) process of the PNP Recruitment Program.
“Apparently, they are asking P25,000 from every applicant whom they promised a better chance of entering the service. Some applicants have surfaced and expressed their willingness to testify against the two suspects,” said Marcos.
The official said they have requested a Warrant to Examine Computer Data on the cellphones recovered from the suspects. The suspects’ mobile phones are believed to contain the messages and instructions they have exchanged with their victims in the past.
Marcos said that based on intelligence reports, the suspects were involved in such anomalous transaction over the past few years “but only this time that the PRO-BAR command was able to apprehend these suspects with evidence at hand.’
“This successful operation was a result of our aggressive implementation of our own PNP internal cleansing program,” he added.
The official said that the entrapment operation was conducted by members of the PRO-BAR Regional Intelligence Division, the Regional Mobile Force Battalion 14 and the Parang Municipal Police Station around at 5 p.m. Thursday.
The two were placed under arrest shortly after they received marked money from a complainant. Both were detained at the lock-up facility of the Parang Municipal Police Station while charges for violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practice Act are being readied against them.
Cpl. Julaton will also be facing an administrative case for grave misconduct, an offense that would merit his dismissal from the police service.
Marcos condemned in the strongest term illegal activities of any of his men.
“Those who violate our rules and regulations especially on discipline and ethical standards will find themselves behind bars and facing dismissal from the service for bringing the entire police force into a bad light. We also assure the public specifically victims of unruly acts of any of our men that their complaints will be fully investigated and all concerned will be subjected to criminal and administrative proceedings based on evidence,” Marcos said.
With Zaida Delos Reyes