Arnell Ignacio on 'extortion': I felt humiliated

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 04 2011 01:01 PM | Updated as of Apr 05 2011 08:00 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Television host-comedian Arnell Ignacio on Monday said he felt humiliated when 3 members of the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) allegedly extorted money from him two weeks ago. 

Ignacio, who already filed an extortion complaint against PO3 Jose Levy Llagas, PO3 Neil Pono and PO1 Joel Lasala, lamented that the 3 police officers treated him as if he was a criminal.

"Napakasakit ng ginawa ng tatlong yan sa akin. ‘Yong katakot takot na kahihiyan na inabot ko sa kalye na yon. Biruin ninyo ‘yong tratuhin kang kriminal, limang taon kong hinulugan 'yang kotse na yan,” Ignacio said in an interview with Noli de Castro on radio dZMM.

According to Ignacio, the 3 officers followed him while he was driving his Porsche last March 26 in Pasig City around 7:30 p.m.

"Hindi ako pinara, sumusunod sa akin ang patrol car 875… Ang sabi sa akin bakit daw ‘yong plaka wala. Sabi ko nandito ang plaka kako ang mga turnilyo ko nalaglag kasi ginamit sa exhibit ang sasakyan. Ito at nandito din ang papeles ko. Tsinek din nila doon sa kanilang record, it was registered under my name,” he said.

Despite the documents, he said he was told to pay P100,000 for the offense. When the comedian pointed out that he did not commit any violation, he said they still demanded that he produced the money.

"Ito pa ang tanong, 'Saan ka pinanganak?' Sabi ko sa Maynila. Sabi niya, ‘Ang kotse mo pang-probinsiya.’ Nanarantado," he added.

He said Pono was drunk when the incident took place.

Ignacio admitted that he gave in after they threatened to impound his luxury car. They then escorted him to his house to get the money, he said.

"Lalo pa ngang na-enganyo kasi nakita nila marami daw akong pera, marami daw akong kotse. Sabi ko, 'Hindi na ako nagta-trabaho sa TV, nananahimik na po ako,'" Ignacio recalled.

"Hindi nila alam my CCTV dito sa bahay at nakita ng mga kapitbahay kasi ngayon dini-deny nila yan. At ako pa daw ang naka-inom," he said. "’Yong pag-abot ko ng pera walang nakakita… ang daming tao nakakita sa kanila na katabi ko, dinala nila ang patrol car nila dito."

Per the order of Chief Supt. Leonardo Espina of PNP-HPG, the 3 policemen have been disarmed and are now being investigated.

Ignacio, who vowed to fight the case till the end, praised Espina’s immediate action. He also asked other people with similar case to come forward and file necessary charges.