MANILA - The Philippine National Police on Thursday said it was investigating allegations that some police officers received protection money from a Chinese businesswoman who owns a coral farm supposedly used as a hideout by communist guerillas.
Soldiers and government rebels earlier this week recovered high-powered firearms from the coral farm of alias “Lily Ong” in Teresa, Rizal. She was arrested together with 7 suspected members of the New People's Army.
Ong reportedly said she gives P8,000 each to police officers every month for protection from kidnappers. Recovered from her farm was a list of the police officers.
"Pinaiimbestigahan ko na po iyan, iyung sinasabing protection money, kung talagang mayroon man," PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde told radio DZMM.
(I have ordered an investigation into that, the alleged protection money, if it really exists.)
Some policemen may have agreed to protect Ong as a "sideline" to pad their income, which is illegal, he said.
Acting Rizal police chief Senior Supt. Lou Evangelista appears not to have been informed of the raid on the trader's farm, said Albayalde.
The military raided the farm just days after its officials bared a "Red October" plot in which communist leaders are allegedly conniving with President Rodrigo Duterte's critics to remove him from office.
The Communist Party of the Philippines has rejected the accusation.
The PNP, for its part, has not received any report that any of its personnel is involved in the alleged ouster scheme, Albayalde said.