No place for extortion, illegal activities in Taguig – Cayetano

MANILA-- Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano on Wednesday reiterated that she will not condone any illegal activities in the city, whether by ordinary citizens or public officers.

Cayetano issued the statement following the arrest of a policeman, six barangay tanods (village watchmen) and their companion, after they allegedly extorted money from a truck helper and driver on June 30.

Police officer Cesar Espejo, 34; Barangay Security Force members Reggie Adrales, 29; Bobby Tejero, 43; Rolly Barcelo, 41; Antonio Bontia, 51; Antonio Bag-Ao, 44; and Marcelino Perdonio; and their companion Stephanie Villanueva, 24, are facing charges for illegal possession of firearms, illegal possession of drugs, kidnapping and usurpation of authority after they held a truck helper and his driver in the multipurpose hall of Barangay Western Bicutan for extorting money from the kin of drug suspects in exchange for their release.

Espejo, Adrales, Tejero, Barcelo, Bontia, Bag-Ao and Villanueva were arrested in an entrapment operation organized by the Counter Intelligence Task Force of the Philippine National Police in San Rafael, Bulacan, upon being informed by a female complainant of the ordeal of the victims. Perdonio remains at large.

"Hindi talaga kami nagtotolerate dito ng masamang gawain, kahit sino ka pa. No one is above the law. So kung mapapatunayang nagkasala sila, talagang haharap sila sa katakot takot na kaso. Matatanggal pa sila sa serbisyo," Barangay Western Bicutan Chairman Nicky Supan, who has jurisdiction over the accused BSF members, said.

Cayetano was also firm in her stand on errant government employees.

"Taguig is an advocate of upright and honest services. If we receive reports of our own employees doing illegal activities, we will not hesitate to do the necessary action to stop them since it is our commitment to provide just and quality public service to all TaguigeAos, she said.

She also reminded her constituents that they can call hotline 165-7777 to report cases of extortion by law enforcement officers.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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