ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), with the help of the police, has arrested one of its personnel for extortion in an entrapment operation at a hotel here, officials disclosed Tuesday.
Brig. Gen. Ronaldo Genaro Ylagan, Police Regional Office-9 (PRO-9) director, identified the arrested PCG personnel as Apprentice Seaman (ASN) Aldasher Anni assigned at the Coast Guard Station Basih-Balan under the Coast Guard District Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
Ylagan said Anni was arrested in an entrapment at a pension house around 4:37 p.m. Monday along Veterans Avenue Extension, Barangay Sta. Maria, this city.
The PCG said in a statement that Anni was arrested following a complaint that the suspect was extorting money from PCG applicants.
The PCG gathered that Anni was asking for PHP85,000 for the immediate release of their medical and dental clearances without undergoing evaluation, thereby expediting their enlistment into the Coast Guard service.
Ylagan said recovered from Anni were marked money consisting of two PHP1,000 bills and a bundle of PHP132,000 boodle money.
Vice Admiral Leopoldo Laroya, PCG commandant, upon receipt of the report, has ordered the conduct of a parallel investigation to identify other Coast Guard officers or non-officers who might be in cahoots with Anni in preying on PCG applicants.
Laroya said based on initial findings, Anni has been absent without official leave (AWOL) since August 30.
“When you applied to join the Coast Guard, you endured several months of training and lack of communication with your families to transform your civilian character and embrace the military mindset. You are instructed to put service above self, yet there are still those who take advantage of others who only desired to serve the country and help their families,” Laroya said.
“The PCG will never tolerate extortion or any act of corruption among its personnel. This incident is a warning to the men and women of the Coast Guard that unscrupulous practices will result in the removal of their dignity as public servants and waste their years of service to the nation,” he added.
He enjoined PCG applicants and their families to report similar incidents through the Coast Guard Public Affairs (0927-560-7729) or the official PCG Facebook page (https://m.facebook.com/coastguardph) for immediate measures and appropriate actions.
Anni was placed under the custody of the Zamboanga City Police Office’s (ZCPO)Station 7 for documentation and proper disposition before the filing of charges in violation of Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Republic Act No. 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. (PNA)