By Jennifer P. Rendon
The Police Regional Office (PRO)-6 again warned its personnel against engaging in illegal activities following the arrest of the chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)-Bacolod City field office.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Joem Malong, PRO-6 spokesperson, said that PNP Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (PNP-IMEG) is hot on the trail of rogues in uniform, particularly those who are involved in illegal gambling and extortion.
“Involvement in illegal activities is being monitored but PNP chief Police General Archie Francisco Gamboa is very particular on illegal gambling and extortion,” she said.
Malong confirmed the presence of IMEG personnel in Western Visayas but claimed she is not aware of their operation.
“As to their next target, only the IMEG knows,” she said.
In the case of Police Major Melvin Madrona, Malong said coordination was made a day before the entrapment operation was done.
Madrona and his civilian companion Jay-R Dela Cruz were arrested for alleged robbery-extortion afternoon of Thursday, Feb. 27.
Madrona and the 40-year old Dela Cruz, who is a gamefowl handler from the Guanzon Cockpit Arena in Mansilingan, Bacolod City, were inside the cockpit arena.
“We have arrested another police officer accused of extortion in line with our continuing implementation of Gen. Gamboa’s directive to go after rogues in uniform regardless of their rank and stature. We assure the public too that we will immediately and properly act on all complaints against erring police officers and men being forwarded to us,” Colonel Ronald Lee, IMEG director, said.
Madrona, who was assigned in Bacolod City last month, and dela Cruz were collared after receiving P5,000 from a complainant.
Lee said PNP-IMEG Visayas Field Unit, together with a team from the PNP Special Action Force, the 6th CIDG, and PRO-6 Regional Intelligence Division, launched an operation against Madrona following a complaint from the owners of the Ztrip Zone KTV Bar at Golden Field Commercial Complex in Barangay Singcang, Bacolod City.
The complainants identified as Ashly Alba, Rosalie Pesquera and Rizaldy Claver sought the assistance of the PNP-IMEG in going after the suspects who allegedly demanded weekly P5,000 protection money from them.
For them to operate without any glitch or fear of being raided, they have to give P5,000 every Thursday.
IMEG investigation showed that at around 11 p.m. last February 8, members of the Bacolod City CIDG led by Madrona raided the KTV bar and arrested Pesquera, 10 of their lady dancers and 12 of their Japanese customers.
The police brought Pesquera, the KTV bar workers, and their Japanese clients to their office in Bacolod City and released them the following day on the condition that Pesquera will give them P5,000 a week.
The lady dancers were released 1 p.m. on February 9 while the Japanese customers were freed an hour later.
Pesquera was released at 5 p.m. after reportedly being forced to agree to the ‘terms and conditions’ set by her arresting officers.
IMEG said that “the complainants also accused Madrona of forcing them to pay for his travel expenses, hotel accommodation and their food. The complainants said that Pesquera and Claver personally gave P6,000 to the CIDG officer in his office.”
The first weekly protection money was paid on Feb. 20. They allegedly gave the P5,000 to a certain “Police Senior Master Sergeant Nabarte” at the CIDU-6 headquarters.
IMEG is still checking on the real identity of “Nabarte.”
This is not the first time that Madrona hugged the limelight. He gained national notoriety after he was accused of mauling a motorist on March 22, 2017.
He was charged for physical injury, arbitrary detention and grave coercion by an Overseas Filipino Worker who was reportedly mauled by the officer after they figured in a vehicular accident.
Madrona allegedly mauled the complainant inside the Quezon City Police District Station 5, the unit where he was assigned. His act was caught on the Closed Circuit TV camera.
He was eventually transferred to the PNP Headquarters Support Service.
Madrona is among the participants in the “Focused Reformation and Reorientation and Moral Enhancement for Police Officers in line with Internal Cleansing Efforts”, a month-long training program which focuses on policemen facing administrative cases.