ASIDE from taking P2-million cash from the two employees they robbed along Edsa, policemen also forced the victims to withdraw cash from their personal bank accounts, investigators learned on Tuesday.
The victims, Ustadz Samanodin Abdulgafur and Camal Mama, surfaced on the same day and told the probers that after they were taken to the La Loma Police Station in Quezon City, the policemen took their ATM cards and forced them to withdraw money from their bank accounts. Mama withdrew P30,000 while Abdulgafur withdrew P33,000. The policemen also took the P56,000 cash in the possession of Abdulgafur, they said.
They were detained at the police station for seven hours.
When shown pictures of members of the La Loma Police Station, the victims identified Chief Insp. Joseph de Vera; Sr. Police Officer 1 Ramil Hachero; Police Officers 2 (PO2) Ebonn Decatoria and Weavin Masa; and former Police Inspector Marco Polo Aranas Estrera as the policemen behind their kidnapping.
Abdulgafur and Mama were employees of a businessman engaged in construction. They said the P2- million cash they were carrying was for the purchase of a heavy equipment in Subic, Zambales.
The Special Investigation Task Group created by Chief Supt. Abelardo Villacorta, chief of the Eastern Police District, traced the ownership of a Honda Civic (ZJB 149) to Marco Polo Estrera, a dismissed police officer.
Of the suspects, only de Vera and PO2 Jonathan Rodriguez have been arrested.
Villacorta said de Vera admitted to his participation in the robbery and pointed to Senior Insp. Oliver Villanueva, Estrera, Hachero, Decatoria, Masa, PO2 Jerome Datinguinoo, PO2 Mark Depaz and Rodriguez as his cohorts. They are all assigned to the La Loma Police Station 1.
Rodriguez underwent inquest proceedings also on Tuesday. He was charged with robbery, kidnapping and serious illegal detention.
Another police officer, Senior Inspector Allan Emlano, and two “John Does” were included in the list of suspects. Villacorta said similar charges were filed against the three suspects who are at large.
Quezon City Police District Director Chief Supt. Richard Albano also on Tuesday vowed to file administrative charges against all policemen involved in the crime.
“We will dig deeper into their previous activities. Hindi lang ito malamang. Saan nanggaling ang mga ito [This kidnapping must not be the only one that they have done. Where did these people come from]?” Albano fumed.
Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd said he is considering offering a reward to speed up the capture of the policemen being hunted by authorities.
“We gave them a uniform and a badge, authority, a gun and radio and they used it for a crime. This will not be tolerated,” he said.
But Malacañang does not consider the case a big blow to the PNP, saying rogue policemen compose a minority in the police force.
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said this small number of rogue police officers should not tarnish the image of the entire police organization.
“Ang patakaran namang pinapairal dito ay ‘yung zero tolerance laban sa mga tinaguriang rogue cops [We are implementing a zero-tolerance policy for so-called rogue cops],” Coloma said in a news conference.
“What would be a major blow is if there is no effort on the part of its leadership to clean up its ranks. What would be a major blow is if there would be a situation where the PNP is not doing its duty,” he added.
Coloma noted that President Benigno Aquino 3rd had directed PNP chief Alan Purisima to closely monitor the situation.