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2 BARMM cops face raps over alleged extortion

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 19:00 PM Mon Sep 12, 2022
Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

MANILA – Two police non-commissioned officers (PNCOs) assigned with the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) are now facing charges for their alleged involvement in extortion activities.

In a statement Monday, Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG) chief Brig. Gen. Warren de Leon said charges of robbery extortion and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act were filed against Staff Sgt. Mark Anthony Palma and Pat. Gerald Tucas.

“With the implementation of Oplan Bansay or Bantay sa Pagsasanay, our Training Internal Cleansing program, we were able to gather information on the alleged extortion activity perpetrated by these two active PNCOs who were supposed to be the role models of the trainees being their trainers and mentors while undergoing the Basic Internal Security Operations Course (BISOC),” de Leon said in a statement.

Based on the information report received by the IMEG-Mindanao Field Unit, an alleged extortion activity transpired involving BISOC trainees at the BAR's Regional Special Training Unit (RSTU).

Palma and Tucas allegedly demanded PHP60,000 from the BISOC trainees in exchange for a more lenient treatment accorded to their class during the course of the training.

The BISOC battalion commander and the class treasurer eventually gave in to the demands of their trainers and the said amount was withdrawn from the class fund and was later given separately to the two police officers, where each of them received PHP30,000 last Aug. 27 inside Palma’s car parked at the mall Cotabato City.

After a series of validation and eventual case buildup, the charges were filed against the two suspects on Sept. 5 before the City Prosecutor's Office of Cotabato City for preliminary investigation.

De Leon said an administrative complaint for grave misconduct and two counts of conduct unbecoming of a police officer defined under National Police Commission (Napolcom) Memorandum Circular No. 2016-002 was referred to the Regional Internal Affairs Service- Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (RIAS-BAR) for pre-charge investigation.

“I commend the efforts of our personnel from the Mindanao Field Unit for this notable accomplishment as part of our attempt to convey our “Malasakit” to our brothers in uniform in line with CPNP’s policy framework M+K+K=K. This is a manifestation and a warning to all PNP personnel that scalawags do not have a place in the organization more so in training institutions which is the breeding ground for the future leaders of the country,” de Leon added. (PNA)

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