- By JOEY NACALABAN
with NORA SORINO
GSD-Iligan bureau chief .
POLICE arrested on Wednesday night two of their own from the Highway Patrol Group and two others for allegedly being behind a string of extortion activities along the Macapagal Highway in Iligan City.
One of the arrested suspects is a police major, Senior Insp. Rolando Rigot, who headed the HPG in Iligan.
Iligan police director Senior Supt. Leony Roy Ga identified the other arrested police officer as SPO2 Crisanto Bernardo.
Two HPG auxiliaries identified as Mac Harvey Abad and Sidney Cañete were also arrested in what Camp Alagar said was an entrapment.
Camp Alagar said the arrest of Rigot’s group came as a result of complaints by motorists via the government hotline 8888 about extortion activities along the Macapagal highway.
Ga said a similar complaint about the activities of HPG personnel also reached him, and so the Iligan police organized an entrapment.
Police said the entrapment involved an Iligan businessman who drove a vehicle without license plates.
Ga said Rigat and his group used an HPG car with body number 1003.
He said the businessman’s vehicle was flagged down and he was given a ticket.
“This was when the negotiations started,” said Ga. “The fine for that violation is only P1,500 but they asked for P3,000.”
Ga said the businessman was told that if it reaches the Land Transportation Office, he would end up paying more.
He said Rigat allegedly told the businessman to see him in his HGP office in Tipanoy, allowing Ga’s men to organize the entrapment as soon as they learned of it.
Ga said the police seized a P3,000-marked money from Rigat, and some P5,000 more from his drawer.
When the arresting officers barged into his office, Rigat rushed to the toilet where he allegedly attempted to flush money down the drain, said Ga.
The suspects are now detained and are facing charges of robbery-extortion and administrative cases.