8 Filipino cops arrested for robbery
Eight members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Anti-Organised Crime Unit were presented late on Wednesday (January 26, 2022) to the media following their arrest over a robbery incident in Angeles City, Pampanga province earlier in the day. The officers now face charges of robbery, extortion and illegal detention. They are also set to face administrative charges, and possible dismissal. Image Credit: Courtesy CIDG via Philippine News Agency

Manila: Eight Philippine police officers here were arrested and presented to the local media late on Wednesday (January 22, 2022) over a robbery incident in Pampanga province that took place early in the day.

The Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) presented the suspects and said charges will be filed against the men.

The group allegedly victimising seven Chinese nationals and a Filipina in Angeles City, Pampanga, an hour north of Manila.

The official Philippine News Agency quoted CIDG director Maj. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro, who identifying the suspects as the following:

  • Maj. Ferdinand Mendoza
  • Staff Sergeant Mark Anthony Reyes Iral
  • Staff Sergeant Sanny Ric Alicante
  • Corporal Richmond Francia
  • Corporal John Gervic Fajardo
  • Corporal Kenneth Rheiner Ferrer Delfin
  • Patrolman Leonardo Veloso Mangales
  • Patrolman Hermogines Rosario Jr.

The eight are all assigned with the CIDG’s Anti-Organized Crime Unit (AOCU).

Robbery, extortion, illegal detention

Maj. Gen. Ferro said the suspects will be facing a case of robbery in band, extortion, and illegal detention. Moreover, the suspects will face administrative charges. Ferro said the officers’ involvement in such crime is an “isolated case.”

“(The CIDG) will not tolerate misdeeds of its uniformed personnel. This is a semblance of what we call ICU — inept, corrupt and undisciplined police personnel. We cannot allow this incident to tarnish the good performance, credibility established by the CIDG,” Ferro said in a press conference late Wednesday at Camp Crame, the PNP headquarters.

Incident report

The PNP reported that the CIDG regional field unit (RFU) 3 conducted an operation after receiving a report around 1 am Wednesday about an ongoing robbery in a residential area at Diamond Subdivision in Barangay Balibago, Angeles City, perpetrated by a group of armed men in civilian clothes who identified themselves as CIDG personnel.

Upon the arrival of the responding cops in the area, they cornered the suspects — who claimed they were conducting a “buy-bust" operation.

“In the course of investigation, it was later learned that the suspects held the seven male Chinese nationals and one Filipino house servant inside the said house. It was also observed that all of the things inside the said premise are in disarray. Twelve computers that are set up similar to POGO operation was noticed in the living room,” the RFU report read.

“The team leader claimed that they are conducting buy-bust operation of firearms in the said place. However, it was later found to be untrue. When their vehicles were checked, assorted belongings of the Chinese were found therein including cash amounting to more or less Php300,000 and US dollar bills,” the report added.

The 12 computers were found set up, like those in Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO), inside the house. “During the inquiry with the suspects, it was later learned that they were members of the PNP CIDG assigned at the AOCU,” it said.

Suspects held

Suspects are temporarily held at CIDG Angeles Criminal Field Unit for proper disposition pending the filing of administrative and criminal charges against them.

Ferro assured the public that the CIDG is one with PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos “in taking necessary legal action to stop the wrongdoing of anybody inside the organisation.”

“They will face the full weight of the PNP disciplinary machinery. Administrative and criminal cases will be filed against them. They will be disciplined, investigated and we will charge administratively and criminally,” he told the agency.

Facing dismissal

Gen. Carlos said he will make sure the involved cops will be dismissed.

“This is one thing we will never allow,” he said in Filipino. “You are not contributing to the mandate and the function of the organisation. We reminded you not to get involved in the illegal activities and yet you are doing it,” Carlos said.

“We will make sure that you are pruned, removed from the organisation because we don't want to taint the bigger majority of performing and professional police officers,” the agency quoted the top cop as saying.