NBI AGENTS NAB COP IN NEGROS FOR EXTORTION
DUMAGUETE CITY – Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested a police officer in Bayawan City, Negros Oriental for alleged extortion during an entrapment operation on Tuesday.
SPO1 Roberto Abadiano, 55, resident of Bayawan City, allegedly demanded PHP50,000 from a radio commentator whom he arrested in Bayawan City for alleged violation of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) gun ban in 2012.
Radio station DyRL station manager Rene Ledesma alleged that on or about 12:07 noon of November 26, 2018, Abadiano called him through cellphone and demanded the amount in exchange for not attending the Nov. 28 scheduled hearing of the case before the Regional Trial Court Branch 44 in Dumaguete City.
The supposed scheduled pay-off was on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 at Ledesma’s radio station.
Ledesma felt that Abadiano was making the Comelec gun ban case against him as means of “extorting money” considering that he had first given the police officer PHP 20,000 sometime in 2013.
The radio commentator and manager was accused of violating provisions of the Comelec gun ban while elections were forthcoming in May 2013, though his gun was licensed and with a Permit to Carry (PTC) but without Comelec exemption.
Ledesma said he was forced to seek the help of the NBI because the police officer was already threatening him with death if he will not give in to his demand plus the amount, he was asking for was huge.
Fortunately, while talking to the NBI chief, lawyer Hermie Monsanto in his office, the police officer called back and reminded Ledesma of the PHP 50,000.
Right there, Ledesma put their conversation with the police office on loudspeaker, and so the NBI Dumaguete chief himself overheard the conversation.
NBI agents documented the proceedings and announced their presence as soon as the envelope containing the amount was received by the police officer.
The police officer was then brought to the NBI office for booking after the arrest while inquest proceedings were conducted before the city prosecutor’s office.
NBI special agent Coco Lastimoso said that NBI Dumaguete is filing two cases, one for violation of the anti-graft and corrupt practices act as provided for in RA 3019 and for extortion under the Revised Penal Code with private complainant Rene Ledesma.
Ledesma’s legal counsel lawyer Freddie Hermosa had earlier reminded his client to appear during the scheduled hearing of the gun ban case on Nov. 28 because the judge was inclined to issue a warrant against him and had no idea about the so-called transaction.
Abadiano, on the other hand, vehemently denied accusations he bargained his non-attendance in the scheduled hearing for PHP50,000.
In fact, he is filing a criminal case of bribery against Ledesma, whom he accused of handing over the money, while he was at the radio station to talk about his security.
The police officer said he feared for his life because Ledesma is using names of big and influential personalities in the district.
According to Abadiano he went to the radio station to confer with Ledesma “tungod sa akong kahadlok sa mga inpluwensiyadong mga pangalan sa mga tawo nga iyang gigamit, aron makaseguro ko nga dili pod ko maunsa (out of fear of the influential people that Ledesma was namedropping, and to also ensure my safety).”
“Kay dili ko katulog nga maghuna-huna sa gigamit niya nga mga dagkong tawo nga nagpaluyo kaniya, og busa napressure ang akong huna-huna (Because I could not sleep just thinking about these influential personalities backing him, and so I was pressured),” he added.
The police officer further said he wanted to make sure that if he withdraws the case by not attending the hearing that he would not also go to prison.
Abadiano said he is retiring next year and is already on a non-duty status (NDS) and that he is aware of the law.
That is why he is filing a case of bribery against the radio commentator and that he will fight to the end (never mind if I cannot receive anything),” referring to his retirement benefits.
Ledesma, however, said that is the right of the police officer to file counter charges against him. But the fact remains, the NBI chief himself heard their conversation on loud speaker when Abadiano called him through cellphone to follow up the demanded amount. (PNA)
Photo from ABS-CBN News