CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Seven persons were arrested by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Northern Mindanao on Thursday, July 11, after they attempted to extort from Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno supposedly to facilitate the release of his son, who is detained in Angeles City, Pampanga.
Moreno’s eldest son Sean Moreno, 42, was arrested in a drug bust on June 29 along with 7 other suspects for allegedly selling party drugs in the Central Luzon city.
The suspects contacted Moreno via a phone call through a man who introduced himself as “Police Colonel Sifuentes,” supposedly of the Region X police. Claiming he could facilitate the release of the mayor’s son, the caller demanded P1.5 million.
Unknown to the caller, Moreno called the real police Colonel Ferdinand Fuentes, who then asked the assistance of the CIDG for an entrapment operations against the caller, who was later identified as Ryan Maborang.
When the suspects called again on July 9, Moreno turned over his phone to the CIDG.
According to CIDG Region X Director Raymund Liguden, a CIDG agent posed as “Art Moreno” and talked to the suspects over Moreno’s phone and negotiated that the amount be reduced to P1.3 million.
An entrapment operation was launched on July 11 against Maborang, a resident of North Cotabato.
Liguden said they went to the Lim Ket Kai Mall to meet with the suspect, and ended up also arresting Wilma Pangandigan and Donna Bansil, both employees of the municipal government of Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao, Thong Pangandigan, Mohaimin Ulimpalen, and driver of the rented vehicle, Sadam Taliba.
Police said Taliba offered to be a witness to the case, saying he had nothing to do to the group’s activities, and was only driving the rental vehicle the group used.
“Maborang told the agent to give the money to the two women at the mall,” Liguden said.
A follow-up entrapment operation against Maborang and Mark Adrian Tan followed in Gaisano Mall in Barangay Puerto, but the suspects were able to escape, resulting to a 50-kilometer chase from Cagayan de Oro to Sumilao, Bukidnon, where provincial police had set up a checkpoint.
The two were finally arrested.
The suspects are facing robbery-extortion case before the City Prosecutor’s Office. – Rappler.com