CAMP Olivas, Pampanga -- A formal investigation is now being conducted by the Central Luzon police on the alleged involvement of a top official of the Pampanga Police Provincial Office on extortion charges filed by a businessman before the provincial board recently.
The probe was ordered by Chief Supt. Aaron N. Aquino, acting director of Police Regional Office 3, after learning that Pampanga police director Senior Supt. Rodolfo Recomono was implicated in extortion charges filed by fuel distributor Rogelio Yangco recently at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Pampanga headed by Vice Gov. Dennis “Delta” Pineda.
In a text message on Monday, Aquino told this writer that he ordered the Regional Investigation Division, headed by Supt. Eduardo Tuazon, to look into the alleged extortion charges hurled against Recomono.
Yangco sought the assistance of Pineda after a “police asset,” identified as Jerry Villanueva, extorted some P50,000 from him in exchange for the release of his tanker truck filled with gasoline.
On Aug. 3, 2016, Mabalacat City policemen held the tanker truck driven by Arsenio Belleza Jr. for allegedly carrying “hijacked fuel” on orders of Villanueva whom Yangco claimed to be a “confidential agent” of Recomono. Belleza was travelling along MacArthur Highway when he was flagged down by policemen in Bgy. Dolores at 2 a.m.
At the police station, Villanueva demanded P100,000 and threatened Belleza to trump up a case of “highjacking fuel” if the latter refused to his demand.
An agreement was reached then to P50,000 and the money was handed personally by Yangco to Villanueva inside the office of Chief Insp. Gil Domingo, who witnessed the payoff at that time.
Supt. Ruel Cagape replaced Domingo as chief of police of Mabalacat City after the latter’s relief over alleged drug links last month.
Despite repeated demands, Villanueva and Recomono failed to appear before the SP to air their side.
Also this writer texted Recomono through his cellphone but failed to receive a reply from him.