PRESIDENTIAL Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino has ordered to investigate the presence of a group of extortionists in the region using the name of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The office of Secretary Dino received some information that the members of this group claiming to be the staff of President Duterte asked their subjects to give them P200 to P300 a month in order to benefit from the administration’s program that would provide housing, jobs, medicines and even money.
The secretary sought the help of law enforcement agencies like the National Bureau of Investigation and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to investigate the matter and to identify the leader of the group.
Chief Supt. Jose Mario Espino, Police Regional Office (PRO-7) director, said in an interview that the police have already been aware of this kind of modus.
Espino said that this group is using the name of the President or some other prominent personalities to ask for donation to help the poor people.
Espino added that the group is even using the name of the PNP organization to solicit money for Marawi victims.
Espino advised the public to be cautious when dealing with the group to avoid being victimized. He also urged them to immediately report the incident to their nearest police station.
Espino said that the Regional Intelligence Division, however, could not act on the matter unless there is a formal complaint.
Supt. Royina Garma, regional chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, told Cebu Daily News in a phone interview that they already received an order from Secretary Dino to conduct an investigation into the alleged extortion activity during their meeting yesterday at the OPAV with the secretary and the NBI agents.
Garma did not discount the possibility that this kind of illegal transaction dragging the name of the President might demoralize him and affect his rating if this could not be stopped.