PNP cracks down on 'tokhang for ransom' cops

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 12 2017 11:34 AM | Updated as of Jan 12 2017 12:46 PM

MANILA - The Philippine National Police is taking on police officers using the war on drugs as a cover for extortion activities, with charges filed against cops tagged in the kidnap-extortion of a friend of Senator Panfilo Lacson.

Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa said he was informed about the case of a Chinese-Filipino who was abducted by members of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) last August on the pretext of fabricated drug charges.

Lacson said the victim was allegedly released after his family paid ransom.

"Nakarating po sa akin iyan at inaksyunan na iyan ng CIDG. May mga kaso na iyang mga taong iyan," he said in a DZMM interview.

(That report reached me and the CIDG has tackled it. Cases have been filed against the suspects.)

Lacson, a former PNP chief, revealed the alleged "tokhang for ranson" scheme as he called for a legislative investigation into a similar extortion racket that victimized a South Korean in Angeles City last year.

Dela Rosa has ordered a manhunt operation against the kidnappers of Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo, who remains missing.

Jee's family has asked the PNP not to name the policeman tagged in the kidnapping to avoid putting the foreigner on danger, said Dela Rosa.

The PNP chief said he is inclined to suspect the cop of wrongdoing after the latter ignored summons for questioning.

"Ayaw magpakita. Hindi ko naman hinuhusgahan pero malakas ang kutob ko -- matagal na akong pulis e -- talagang malakas ang kutob ko na ito talaga'y involved," said Dela Rosa.

Authorities are investigating whether the suspect's cohorts are members of the PNP.

The kidnappers were identified through security camera footage taken during the alleged abduction.

Jee's abduction has been reported as kidnap-for-ransom after his wife said that she has paid P5 million as ransom. She added that the abductors were asking for another P4.5 million.