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Officer, 3 others face charges for extorting wake gamblers

A police corporal and three police auxiliaries assigned at San Pedro Police Station will be facing charges for allegedly extorting money from a wake gambling operator in Barangay Bucana (76-A), Talomo District.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) XI and the Intelligence Branch of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) arrested the suspects in a joint operation conducted Monday night in Barangay Bucana.

NBI XI spokesperson Joel Ayop identified the police corporal as Renard Aballe, 35, of Panorama Homes, Barangay Tigatto, Buhangin District.

The three auxiliaries were identified as Crespoldo Tacaldo Jr., 38, of Lower Madapo, Bankerohan, Poblacion District; Keeven Tacjan, 29, Purok 17, New Argao in Barangay Ma-a, Talomo District and Martin Sergio whose background was not released.

In an interview yesterday afternoon at the NBI XI headquarters, Ayop said they received complaint that a police officer and his three auxiliaries companions – while in uniform – were collecting money in the gambling activity at a wake in Purok 8, Barangay 76-A.

He said the police officer and his companions threatened to arrest the wake gamblers should they would not give money.

After a series of surveillance, the NBI established that the targets were actually active police personnel.

An entrapment operation was then organized, leading to the arrest of the suspect.

He said that the suspects had been collecting money from the operator of gambling activities at wakes in Bucana.

While betting activity is prohibited, traditional gambling at wakes has been tolerated.

The arrested police personnel refused to give statement when reporters asked their side.

A robbery-extortion case, in relation to Republic Act 3019 (Anti Graft and Corrupt practices Act), was filed Monday afternoon against the suspect before the City Prosecutor’s office.

DCPO director Col. Kirby John Kraft said they are pursuing administrative case against the corporal.

“We will proceed with the summary dismissal procedure against Corporal Aballe,” Kraft said.

For the three auxiliaries, he said they will file report to City Hall for their dismissal. The police auxiliaries, while under the supervision of the DCPO, are paid by the city government.

Kraft warned those policemen who will be involved in such activity.

“So this will serve as a stern warning to the DCPO personnel,” Kraft said. “We are very serious in cleansing our ranks.”

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