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Policeman ‘aiding’ trafficking suspect nabbed in entrapment

A police officer was arrested in a sting operation along Pichon Street, Barangay 2-A at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday after he allegedly tried to help a trafficking suspect evade his case.

The suspect was identified as Staff/Sgt. Krist Mark Javier Manulat, 35, who was assigned in the San Pedro Police Station and a resident of Bacalso compound in Ulas.

Also arrested was Ayah Lee Macasindil and Arnold Lee Piang, 49, who hails from Maguindanao and a resident of Datu Luho in Barangay Ma-a.

Maj. Eudisan Gultiano, the spokesperson of Police Regional Office XI, said in yesterday’s AFP-PNP press briefing at The Royal Mandaya Hotel, said Macasindil has a standing warrant of arrest of two counts of qualified trafficking without bail and two counts of violation of RA 7610, with a recommended bail of P200,000 each.

Piang was the driver of Macasindil who negotiatiated with the trafficked victims to drop their criminal case in exchange for money. The policeman, meanwhile, was positively identified by the victim as the one who offered her P100,000 to execute an affidavit.

The victim claimed that the police officer identified himself as “tauhan ni Ayah (Ayah’s henchman).”

She said that “under our law of human trafficking an affidavit of desistance is prohibited under the provision of Section 11 of RA 10364 (Expanded Anti-trafficking in person Act of 2012).”

“And in this case, the police officer facilitated so that the victim will execute an affidavit,” Gultiano said.

The police officer faces administrative and criminal cases, which would result in the dismissal from service, forfeiture of salary and benefits, and imprisonment.

Authorities also recovered the P50,000 cash and the P30,000 in cut paper (boodle money) from Piang, as well as two cellphones. Recovered from the Manulat were a modified tactical knife, one Glock .9mm pistol bearing serial number PNP18962 with one spare magazine and loaded of 11 bullets.

In an interview with reporters, Maj. Jack Tilcag, the commander of the San Pedro Police Station, said Manulat accompanied Piang to pressure the victim into withdrawing the case.

Tilcag said the police officer is now under the custody of the Investigation and Detection Management Branch of the Davao City Police Office. With Khim Vanjo Jimenez and Shenna Mae Madenancil/JMC Interns

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