Investigate, go after, and arrest extortionists using the name of President Rodrigo Duterte in the Visayas.
This is the request of Secretary Michael Dino of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Central Visayas (CIDG-7) and the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI-7), whom he has turned to for assistance.
Dino said, during yesterday’s press briefing, that he has sought the help of the CIDG-7 and the NBI-7 after he received complaints from individuals and officials of local government units (LGUs) around the Visayas accusing certain organizations of attempting to ask for bribes in exchange for fast-tracking several processes in getting government services by branding themselves as “being affiliated with President Duterte.”
“We requested help from the CIDG and the NBI to identify who are the individuals behind these groups. They’re using the name of President Duterte even if they are clearly not affiliated with the government,” said Dino.
Dino on Monday issued a statement about initiating an investigation on these groups, whom he accused of preying on “impoverished individuals.”
Aside from the CIDG-7 and the NBI-7, Dino said he would also seek the help of Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) Director Jose Mario Espino on this matter.
Dino said most of the complaints they received were from victims — people paying even as high as P10,000 for the promise of fast-tracking government processes to get services such as those in housing, getting medicines and even money for the PPP program.
Dino wants these people stopped.
“These people, well, they claimed to be part … a member of President Duterte’s administration and ask these people — poor people — to pay P200 or P300 (and) that’s every month? To provide housing to them, jobs, medicine and even money,” he said.
He also encouraged people not to fall victim to these opportunists.
“If people want to have housing, they go to NHA (National Housing Authority). If they want money through 4Ps, they should go to DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development),” Dino said.
He also advised the public not to trust middlemen and fixers and to transact directly to government offices.
“But for the meantime, we urge the public not to get easily fooled by people who said they can speed up processing of government documents and programs in exchange for money. Go directly to government offices,” Dino said.
Aside from that, Dino also said that OPAV is also planning to put up posters in public areas warning people about fixers and swindlers, who “pretend to be affiliated with government offices such as that of President Duterte.”
“We’ll be putting up posters in public areas to warn people about these swindlers and extortionists, and to constantly remind them not to avail government services from middlemen,” he said.