By Arwen Pascua
MANILA — The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) has recently arrested two alleged poseurs who tried to extort cash from Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri in Castillejos, Zambales.
Arrested in an entrapment operation last August 15, 2022, led by CIDG NCR and Southern District Field Unit along with the Castillejos Police Station, Zambales Police Provincial Office, and Office of the Senate President were Bryan Ledesma (23) and Danilo Guillermo (46). Two other suspects are still at large.
According to PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr., the extortionists were asking for P50,000 from Sen. Zubiri for a certain political convention but the senator was quick to sense that it was a bogus event and he then tipped them off to the police.
“The good senator sought our help following a series of messages his office received from individuals posing as Governor Jec Jec Villa of Siquijor and Board Member Abner Lomongo who were demanding money. Our CIDG team proceeded to verify the information and planned for the operation,” Azurin said.
Confiscated from the suspects during the operation were: marked money placed on top of boodle money; mobile phone inserted with sim card (used to transact with the victim; and identification cards of the arrested suspects.
“Our investigators discovered that Danilo Ledesma was previously arrested on illegal drugs charges last year in Castillejos, Zambales,” Azurin said.
Incidental to the lawful arrest, authorities also recovered from the possession of Ledesma a caliber .45 pistol with magazine and seven rounds of ammunition.
Azurin commended the immediate action taken by the CIDG as he reminds other government officials and employees to be wary of such modus.
“Always coordinate with authorities so we can verify these reports and assist you,” Azurin said. (ai/mtvn)