MANILA Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde on Thursday announced the arrest of two persons claiming to be a congressman of Camarines Sur to extort money from other lawmakers.
Albayalde identified the suspects as Dennis Jose Borbon, 24, a former congressional staff of 1-Ang Edukasyon Party-list and Edgar Paulo James Bularan, 30, both from Camarines Sur.
The two were arrested by PNP-Anti Cybercrime Group (ACG) in an entrapment operation on in Barangay Baritan in Malabon City on Wednesday.
Prior to the arrest of Borbon and Bularan, Menard Gregg Bassa, 20, and reportedly a cohort of the suspects, was also arrested in an entrapment operation after receiving PHP10,000, which he extorted from Cavite Vice Governor Jolo Revilla, at a local remittance center in Camarines Sur at around 7 p.m. Tuesday.
He said the case stemmed from an initial phone call to Revilla from a person who identified himself as Camarines Sur Rep. Arnie Fuentebella.
Acting on the information provided by Revilla, the PNP-ACG launched simultaneous operations that led to the arrest of the suspects in Malabon City after withdrawing PHP15,000 from an automated teller machine (ATM).
During the press conference held in Camp Crame, Fuentebella said he had been hearing from his fellow congressmen at the House of Representatives that someone is using his name for illegal activities, until Revilla called him over the weekend and said he had already sent the money he was asking for.
According to Revilla, the suspect who called him in his personal number and introduced himself as Fuentebella, claimed he has lost his wallet while on a vacation in Palawan and asked him for PHP25,000.
Fuentebella said prior to Revilla's call, 1-Pacman Representative Mikee Romero also called him and said that someone has made a Viber account using his photo and is asking them for cash.
Fuentebella said at least eight lawmakers including congressmen and senators were victimized by the suspects.
He said they also tried to extort money from Senator Christopher Lawrence Go who found out their modus after calling Fuentebella.
Go said he sent PHP1 to the suspects who used an account named after Borbon.
Seized from the suspects were various electronic and access devices, debit cards, remittance cards, and several unregistered SIM cards believed to be used in their activities.
Borbon and Bularan are currently detained in PNP-ACG in Camp Crame and are facing criminal charges for violation of Republic Act 10175 (Identity Theft) and Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code (estafa). (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency