By JIGGER J. JERUSALEM
THE group that allegedly attempted to talk Mayor Oscar Moreno into paying P1.5 million in exchange for a quick fix on his son Sean’s drug case has done it before in another region.
Maj. Napoleon Carpio, deputy regional chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), said the arrested suspects were part of an organized gang — their alleged modus is to victimize high-profile politicians and civilians.
He alleged that before the suspects reached out to Moreno to negotiate for his son’s release, the group was able to extort half a million pesos from a mayor in a town in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Barmm).Carpio did not elaborate.
Carpio said the CIDG is now coordinating with the Bangsamoro regional police to deepen their investigation since all of the suspects are from that region.
He said they also have to investigate further the gang’s leader since his wife is said to be police officer.
The CIDG said the group clearly has “researchers and scriptwriters.”
He said what the group does is look and take advantage of people with vulnerabilities who can afford to pay.
In Moreno’s case, Carpio said, the group exploited the fact that the mayor’s 43-year-old son was arrested in Angeles City by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and that the younger Moreno is facing a case because of that.
“They exploited Moreno’s problem. This is probably their modus, to extort from vulnerable individuals,” Carpio said, referring to the alleged perpetrators.
Arrested were suspected gang leader Ryan Mabborang, 30, a resident of Barangay Poblacion, North Cotabato; Mark Adrian Tan, 36, Rizal Avenue, Kabacan, North Cotabato; Thong Pangandigan, Datu Piang, Maguindanao; Wilma Pangandingan, Mohaimin Ulimpaen, Sadam Taliba, and Donna Bansil, all residents of Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao.
The CIDG said the five of the suspects were arrested in an entrapment operation in a mall on Thursday.
The other two, who resisted arrest, were apprehended by pursuing operatives in Sumilao, Bukidnon hours later.
The seven suspects have been charged with robbery-extortion.