CITY of San Fernando, Pampanga -- Vice Gov. Dennis “Delta” Pineda has warned all chiefs of police in the 19 towns and two cities of Pampanga against accommodating or transacting with a bogus police asset who used a police station and personnel in an alleged extortion racket preying on fuel distributors.
Pineda coursed his directive through Supt. Joyce Patrick Sangalang, provincial police deputy director, after Sangalang confirmed to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan in a recent hearing that a man, identified as Jerry Villanueva, is “not in the roster of confidential agents of the PPO (Pampanga Police Office).”
The provincial legislative board held the hearing last September 9 in response to a complaint filed by businessman Rogelio Yangco.
Board Members Rosve Henson and Ananias Canlas, chairs of the committees on public safety and justice, respectively, conducted the hearing.
In his letter-affidavit dated August 5, 2016, Yangco told the vice governor that Villanueva did the following actions: Blocked Yangco’s tanker truck at 2 a.m. of August 3 as it traversed the MacArthur Highway in Bgy. Dolores, held the tanker at the Mabalacat Police Station, threatened to trump up a case for hijacking fuel, demanded P100,000 for the release of the tanker and accepted P50,000 in the presence of then Mabalacat police OIC Chief Insp. Gil Domingo inside the latter’s office.
Villanueva was absent in the hearing despite the board’s request to the Mabalacat City police to make him attend the hearing.
In a separate letter-affidavit, Yangco’s driver Arsenio Belleza Jr. said Villanueva ordered a policeman to detain him for over 13 hours at the police station. Belleza said a policeman took the key of the truck. He said that although his boss gave Villanueva P50,000, Yangco’s tanker truck was emptied of 20,000 liters of gasoline estimated at P50,000 at an emission training center located three kilometers from the police station. The truck’s bumper was also damaged when Yangco recovered it at 8 p.m. of August 4.
“Ang hindi tama rito ay ginamit ang ating kapu-lisan, pati na ang istasyon ng pulis, sa maling gawain gaya nang sinasabi ni Mr. Yangco na pangingikil,” Pineda said toward the end of the hearing.
Supt. Ruel Cagape, who replaced Chief Insp. Gil Domingo after the latter’s relief over alleged drug links, said Villanueva is “not part of the Mabalacat City police force.”
Cagape said the apprehension of Yangco's truck was not in the blotter of the police.
Domingo confirmed knowing Villanueva. Asked by the vice governor, who was Villanueva’s boss, Domingo said it was Senior Supt. Rodolfo Recomono, Pampanga police director.
People’s Tonight tried but failed to get comments from Recomono.
Domingo also confirmed seeing Villanueva and Yangco talking in his office but said he did not know what they were talking about because the two men were speaking in Kapampangan.
Domingo broke into tears during the hearing as he defended himself from allegations of extortion and illegal drugs protection.
Yangco told the board he would make Domingo a witness in a case against Villanueva.
The board is holding a second hearing to determine the extent of the racket and to hear the side of Villanueva and Recomono.
Pineda also requested police protection for Yangco and Belleza.