Philippines: Rogue policeman killed, three associates arrested in operation to entrap thieving cops

Taguig City police had been receiving reports that the four were involved in kidnap-for-ransom activities

Manila: A policeman died in a dawn shoot-out Tuesday with members of another unit sent to arrest him and his cohorts for kidnap-for-ransom.


Police officer Geredo Ancheta died at around 3.30am in a firefight with members of another unit of the Taguig City police, Southern Police District (SPD) director Chief Supt. Tomas C. Apolinario Jr. said.

Authorities also arrested another police officer Joey Maru, allegedly a leader of a kidnap-for-ransom group, as well as Bryan Amir Bajoof and Paolo Ocampo. All are assigned with the Police Community Precinct 1 in Western Bicutan, Taguig City.

According to Apolinario, the Taguig City police leadership had been receiving reports that the four were involved in kidnap-for-ransom activities.

One of the complainants, Ronielyn Caraecle, said the four had barged into their house in Lower Bicutan, Taguig, before midnight on Tuesday and, at gunpoint, took valuables and P7,000 (Dh481) in cash.

Not content with their loot, Ronielyn and her boyfriend were held for ransom by their kidnappers until their relatives could come up with more money.

Their relatives were able to provide P20,000 (Dh1,376) but Ronielyn’s boyfriend remained in the custody of the kidnappers.

At this point, Ronielyn decided to report the matter to the police. The operatives of the police Anti-Kidnap for Ransom Group (AKFRG) devised a plan to arrest the four.

The AKFRG swooped down on the location of the hideout to arrest the four and a firefight ensued killing Ancheta.

It turned out that all four are active members of the Taguig City police.

In a television report, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Chief Superintendent Guillermo Eleazar berated the three policemen. The NCRPO also ordered the relief of 39 policemen assigned with the police precinct involved.

Rogue local policemen, referred to locally as “kotong cops” were known to conduct supposed “raids” to arrest suspects and then demand cash on condition that no drugs-related charges would be filed against them.

Over the last few months, the government had nearly doubled the salary of law enforcers so that they would steer clear of corrupt activities.

“While the PNP [Philippine National Police] will do everything within its power to discipline the mulcting, rogue and rascal cops, we also ask the cooperation of the public by providing us with information that could lead to the apprehension and prosecution of those involved in various criminal activities. It is good that the citizens are now reporting mulcting cops and any illegal activities committed by our fellow PNP personnel,” Apolinario said.

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