11 CIDG cops axed for extortion

Posted at 02/23/2013 8:32 AM | Updated as of 02/23/2013 8:33 AM

MANILA, Philippines - A Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) official and 10 of his men were sacked yesterday for allegedly extorting P500,000 from a businessman they arrested based on false charges.

Senior Superintendent Rex Acabado, who heads the group’s Detection and Special Operations Division (DSOD), and his men reportedly violated a covenant against bribery and extortion they signed Monday, said CIDG director Chief Superintendent Francisco Uyami Jr.

The extortion complaint against Acabado and his men is being investigated by Senior Superintendent Roberto Fajardo, chief of the CIDG-National Capital Region.

According to a report, Alex Wang approached Fajardo for help on Feb. 19, claiming that his brother, Jacky, was kidnapped by “armed men.”

The initial investigation report stated that Jacky was in his Hyundai Tucson when a vehicle bearing the CIDG logo blocked his path at the corner of Rizal and 2nd Avenues in Caloocan City at around 11:30 a.m.

The suspects claimed they were serving an arrest warrant on Jacky as they commandeered his vehicle. They reportedly “planted” two sachets of shabu in Jacky’s car and demanded P5 million for his safe release.

On the way to the CIDG building at Camp Crame, the suspects reportedly negotiated with Jacky’s family, who agreed to pay P500,000.

Fajardo, upon being informed of the extortion attempt, posted his men at all the entrances of Camp Crame to trap the suspects. However, Alex pleaded with Fajardo to allow him to hand over the money to the suspects to ensure his brother’s safety. The CIDG official relented.

Alex brought the money to the third floor restroom of the CIDG building, just above Uyami’s office. The man who received the money tucked the package into his waistband without counting it, Alex told police.

Alex and an interpreter, William Phi Sy, proceeded to the DSOD office and took custody of Jacky and his vehicle, the report stated. Instead of going home, the brothers and their interpreter proceeded to Fajardo’s office to file a formal complaint against Acabado and his men, according to the report.

The DSOD police officers who arrested Jacky denied any wrongdoing, saying they released Jacky because the warrant they carried is for a different person.

“They invoked mistaken identity,” a police official, who requested anonymity, said.

Upon receiving the extortion complaint, Uyami ordered the relief of Acabado and his men. He said the DSOD police officers will be reassigned to the CIDG’s holding center until they are transferred to another unit.

Uyami said Acabado and his men became the first casualty of his effort to rid the CIDG of scalawags, following the order of Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II.