This is a step in the right direction but I had to smile when I read Supt. Ugale's statement that "he had heard of blackmail schemes similar to what happened to the Swedish tourist last Tuesday." Actually I laughed out loud as this exact scheme has been going on for many years here in AC. This is very rare for these rascals in uniform to be caught, why? Because the victims are too terrified to report the incident to higher authorities. It is a lucrative money maker for the cops.
Senior Supt. Eden Ugale said he would provide adequate security to witnesses against PO3 Manachem Baking and PO2 Ricardo Cabrera, Jr. who were arrested by agents of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in asting operation as they received the second payment of P280,000 of the total amount they demanded from tourist Goran Smedjer, 64, in Barangay Malabanias here.
Ugale admitted that both Baking and Cabrera were being monitored amid reports they had been involved in various illegal activities that included selling of seized illegal drugs and even seized motor vehicles.
Last Jan. 25, Smedjer invited two young women to his apartment in Malabanias. After a few minutes, another woman, in the company of Baking and Cabrera, barged into his apartment and angrily claimed to be the mother of one of the young women. It is not clear whether the young women were minors.
The CIDG report said that the two cops negotiated with the tourist, saying no complaint would be filed by the alleged mother against him if he would pay P500,000.
Smedger, however, sought the help at the CIDG office where agents laid out plans for a sting operation against the suspects who were caught red handed with some P280,000 of the second payment handed them by the tourist in his apartment last Tuesday.
Ugale said there had been raw reports on wrongdoings involving Baking and Cabrera, but no official complaint had ever been filed against them because both witnesses and victims were probably intimidated. “Now that we have a complainant, I am urging other victims to come out so cases against them would be solid.
I vow protection for the complainants and witnesses,”Ugale said. Ugale said
“I have warned all police station commanders against such schemes and I told them that those involved would have to face the full force of the law,” he added. The CIDG agents found in the possession of the two cops an M16 rifle, a .9 MM and .45 pistols, a .22 revolver, a bullet proof vest and a Toyota Innova car.
This, even as Ugale noted significant decrease in criminal cases in Angeles City since some 3,700 cops were deployed in the city and at Clark Freeport for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit.