11 cops sacked over balikbayan's extortion

Posted at 09/18/12 9:45 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – A station commander of the Manila Police District (MPD) and 10 other policemen were sacked for allegedly extorting money from a balikbayan from Canada.

MPD District Director, Chief Superintendent Alex Gutierrez said he has ordered the administrative relief of MPD Station 4 commander Rolando Balasabas and 10 other policemen, namely:

1. SPO3 Sonny Nosidal
2. SPO1 Renato Gregorio
3. PO2 Josefino Callora
4. PO2 Roando Ladres
5. PO2 Dennis Tablizo
6. PO2 Ryan Malacad
7. PO2 Laurence Sagum
8. PO1 Journey Joy Asayo
9. PO1 Joseph Vistan
10. PO3 Mike Pornilos

Balasabas and his men are accused of extorting P1 million from balikbayan Belinda Placido (not related to the writer).

Gutierrez has ordered the MPD's Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit to launch a manhunt operation against the erring policemen.

Meanwhile, one of the accused officers identified as PO1 Joseph Vistan has surrendered to the MPD General Assignment Section to air his side.

Balasabas, on the other hand, declined to comment on the matter but appealed to his men to surface to clear their names.

Arrest leads to extortion?

Placido claimed she was arrested by the policemen in San Felipe, Zambales for the frustrated murder of Nosidal's daughter.

She said Nosidal, who was her long-time bodyguard, became her boyfriend.

"Hindi ko kayang gawin sa pamilya niya 'yan at alam niya 'yan. 'Yung anak niya parang anak ko na rin at alam niya ['yan]," said Placido, adding that it was also not clear to her whether the daughter was indeed stabbed.

After being arrested, Placido was then brought to Camp Crame and transferred to the MPD Station 4's Anti-Crime Unit where she was detained. She was eventually released after allegedly paying P1 million.

Placido claimed it was Pornillos who told her of the P1 million demand.

"Iyung PO3 Mike Pornilos, sinabi niyang ako ay makipag-areglo kay Sonny Nosidal dahil sasampahan nila ako ng frustrated murder. E ang sagot ko, 'Paano ako makikipag-areglo, e wala naman akong kaso, wala naman akong kasalanan," she told radio dzMM.

"Kay Mike Pornilos ko po binigay ang P1 million and then, inalis niya ang P100,000. Nagpabili pa nga siya ng sobre sa akin para daw sa ambag-ambag dahil labing-isa sila."

Placido said she was then instructed by Pornillos to give P100,000 to Nosidal for the latter's daughter's hospital expenses. Nosidal accepted the money.

She admitted she was forced to give in to the policemen's demand in exchange of her freedom. She said she will try to finish her case before she flies back to Canada.

"Lahat ng demand [sinunod] ko, para at least maging kalma lang ako, nang hindi na ako haharassin," she said.

She also sought the help of Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim. As of posting, she was at the MPD headquarters to file a formal complaint against the suspects. – with a report from Noel Alamar, dzMM