8 nabbed for extortion

Ed Amoroso - The Philippine Star

CAMP VICENTE LIM, Laguna, Philippines — Eight persons posing as members of the media were arrested for allegedly extorting money from a local fair operator in Calamba, Laguna yesterday.

The suspects – Anne Cortez, Eric Floro, Benjamin Javier Jr., Rose Marie Malazarte, Efren Regaza, Theresa Regaza, Rodamy Prado and Christoper Yu – were arrested based on a complaint filed by Jinggoy Cahanap.

Reports said Cahanap was at a checkpoint in Barangay Paciano when the suspects, who were in a Toyota FX, allegedly harassed him and demanded P8,000 in weekly protection.

The suspects, who introduced themselves as media workers, reportedly threatened to have the victim’s establishment closed if he refused to give in to their demand, Calamba police chief Lt. Col. Arnel Pagulayan said.

Cahanap told probers that he was able to give P2,000 only, which infuriated the suspects.

Police recovered from the suspects several fictitious identification cards and cash money.

Probers said the suspects were the same persons who report false information to the e-sumbong and the Philippine National Police’s info text, dragging the Calamba police and its chief into the controversy.


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