14 EPD cops face illegal arrest, extortion raps

Posted at 04/04/14 3:02 AM

MANILA, Philippines - At least 14 police officers from the Eastern Police District (EPD), three of them officials, are being accused of illegally arresting and extorting money from seven Koreans in Mandaluyong City last March 13.

The police officers arrested Lee Chang Hwan and six others, two of them pregnant women, for allegedly violating the access devices regulation law. The six others were later freed, allegedly in exchange for P2.7 million.

The police officers who participated in the raid reportedly received P70,000 to P100,000 each.

EPD director Chief Superintendent Abelardo Villacorta has ordered a thorough investigation of the charges against the police officers, whose names have yet to be released.

Three police teams, each headed by an EPD official, raided three units at the Bauhina Tower at the Tivoli Garden Residences condominium on Coronado street at about 4 p.m. on March 13. The teams had arrest warrants for violation of Republic Act 8484, the access devices regulation law, issued by Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court Branch 209 Judge Monique Quisumbing-Ignacio.

Lee was arrested at Unit 1113. Though no one was arrested in Units 2612, 2613 and 2605, police officers confiscated computer sets and accessories.

Barangay Hulo official Delfin Ortigas, who was summoned to the area four hours after the raid, said he saw six Koreans drinking tea when he entered Unit 2613.

Lee alleged that a man in a police uniform demanded P500,000 in exchange for his release. Since he had no money, the police officers brought him to the EPD.

He was charged before the city prosecutor’s office on March 17, four days after his arrest. He was ordered released for further investigation on the same day. The other occupants of the raided condominium units were charged in absentia.

Lee claimed he lost 70,000 won, P35,000 and $20 during the raid.