Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Saturday, October 21, 2006

cops nabbed for extorting cash from drug peddlers

Nine policemen, including four officers, and a civilian were arrested by anti-narcotics operatives from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency for supposedly extorting cash from six suspected drug peddlers whom they earlier "arrested" in Pampanga.

PDEA Director General Dionisio Santiago identified the suspects as Senior Inspectors Nathaniel Capitanea, formerly assigned with PDEA; Beienvenido Reydado and Gilbert Farinas and Inspector Marco Polo Estrera, detailed with the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (AIDSOTF.

Santiago said the other suspects were former PDEA operatives PO3 Dan Firmalino, PO2 Jose Garcia and PO1 Nelson Mariano; and AIDSOTF operatives PO2 Alexander Alvarez and PO2 Junjun Mataverde, and civilian Richard Villanueva.

Chief Inspector Dionisio Bartolome, officer in charge of the PDEA intelligence and investigation service, said the 10 suspects were nabbed at around 11:55 p.m. Wednesday at the Jollibee fast food chain branch at the corner of Banawe and Maria Clara streets in Quezon City.

Before the operation, Bartolome said a team from PDEA was tasked by the PDEA leadership to conduct surveillance operation against Capitanea who is subject of a warrant of arrest for a pending kidnapping for ransom case.

An informant later tipped off to PDEA officials that Capitanea is at the fast food chain in the company of undetermined number of people who are carrying firearms. Capitanea and his companions used six vehicles.

After almost two hours of monitoring, PDEA director general Dionisio Santiago and Metro Manila police chief Director Reynaldo Varilla arrived at the area to supervise the service of the warrant against Capitanea.

"To ensure that no untoward incident would occur, his companions were also neutralized," said Bartolome, referring to the nine companions of Capitanea. The group of Santiago later conducted a search on the policemen's vehicles.

The search resulted into the discovery of six people, who were found tied and blindfolded, inside a Toyota Town Ace van (XGK-562). "The said persons were allegedly arrested by the group in anti-drug operation in Pampanga," said Bartolome.

Bartolome identified the six "arrested" civilians as Edgar Parce, 28, Mario David, and Danilo Gabriel, all of Olongapo City; Trivor Woodard, 28, and Roberto Antonio, 28, both of Mandaluyong City; and Joel David, 24, of Mexico, Pampanga.

The van also yielded four transparent plastic sachets containing undetermined quantity of suspected shabu. Bartolome said the suspected shabu was the policemen's evidence against the six alleged drug peddlers.

"The above named persons (six civilians), in an initial interview, revealed that they were arrested in the morning of Oct. 18, 2006 in San Fernando, Pampanga and they further alleged that the police officers demanded from them P100,000 each for their release," said Bartolome.

Seized from the possession of the policemen and Villanueva were six 9 mm pistol, a cal. 45 pistol, a cal. 357 revolver, a baby armalite, a Toyota Town ace van, a Toyota Hi-ace van, an Isuzu sportivo sports utility vehicle, two Honda City cars and Toyota Corolla cars.

"The suspects and the confiscated evidence were brought to PDEA for investigation and proper disposition," said Bartolome, adding that pertinent documents are being prepared for the filing of charges against 10 suspects.(PNA)


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