The Philippine National Police-Counter Intelligence Task Force (PNP-CITF) arrested two Highway Patrol Group (HPG) civilian auxiliary members in an entrapment operation Tuesday night at the Batangas Port.
CITF Commander Senior Supt. Jose Chiquito Malayo identified the suspects as Jonas Escartin Trazo and Michael De Torres Comia, both force multipliers of HPG Calabarzon.
Malayo said his office received reports of the alleged extortion last September.
Instead of focusing on car theft cases reported at the port, the two HPG suspects allegedly extorted money from drivers of cargo trucks.
“Pagpasok nila sa port, hinaharang sila ng mga naka-unipormeng sibilyan ng HPG, hinaharang 'yung truck at pinapasok doon sa loob, hinihingan sila ng P40 to P100 depende don sa cargo kasi tinatanong sila kung anong laman ng mga truck,” he said.
Authorities recovered from the suspects P100 in marked money and the duo's alleged total collection for the day amounting to P2,110.
Trazo denied allegations and said he was new on the job.
“Bago lang po ako, di ko po alam, isang buwan lang po mahigit,” he said.
Authorities believe the suspects could not have operated without their superior’s consent.
CITF already invited HPG Batangas Officer-In-Charge PO3 Michael Angelo Bugayong for questioning.
"'Yung in-charge po doon na dapat nandoon siya at nangyari 'yung crime, mayroon po siyang pananagutan either criminally or administratively,” he explained.
The suspects will be charged with robbery extortion.