Alleged NBI agent, pal arrested for extortion
() - January 31, 2001 - 12:00am
Operatives of the Western Police District-General Assignments Section arrested last Wednesday an alleged confidential agent of the National Bureau of Investigation and his companion for allegedly extorting money from traders of pirated compact disks in Quiapo, Manila.

Chief Inspector Arturo Paglinawan, WPD-GAS chief, identified the suspects as Edgar Arevalo, 34, of Buhay na Tubig, Tanzang Luma, Imus, Cavite and Renato Contreras, 31, of No. 6 Doña Aurora St., Ireneville, BF Homes, Parañaque.

According to Paglinawan, Arevalo introduced himself as NBI confidential agent "Attorney De Guzman" attached with the bureau’s investigative service and even presented an NBI identification card.

Police reports said the two suspects were arrested following a complaint made before the GAS by compact disk vendors Bonifacio Padua, 32, and Luz Dee, 28.

According to their complaints, the suspects, together with a certain Richard Bautista, would visit compact disk vendors along Sales and Evangelista streets in Quiapo once a week to collect their "protection money" from the vendors.

Police said the suspects would usually collect as much as P1,000 from each vendors weekly by introducing themselves as NBI confidential agents attached with the Anti-Piracy Division of the Videogram Regulatory Board.

Armed with the complaint, GAS agents then set-up the entrapment at about 3 p.m. and arrested the suspects after receiving P4,000 marked cash from the vendors. Bautista eluded arrest, police said.

Cases of robbery-extortion and usurpation of authority have been lodged against the arrested suspects.

NBI director Reynaldo Wycoco welcomed the arrest of the suspects as he warned NBI agents not to commit acts that would destroy the bureau’s image. "We will hit hard on our agents who will destroy the NBI’s image. Let this be a strong warning to those concerned," he said.

Last Tuesday, Wycoco ordered the recall of the assignments of 6,000 NBI confidential agents pending a re-evaluation of their performances. – Mike Frialde

ANTI-PIRACY DIVISION OF THE VIDEOGRAM REGULATORY BOARD ATTORNEY DE GUZMAN AURORA ST. BONIFACIO PADUA CAVITE AND RENATO CONTRERAS CHIEF INSPECTOR ARTURO PAGLINAWAN EDGAR AREVALO LAST TUESDAY
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