‘Fake’ policeman arrested in Toledo City
CEBU CITY, Philippines — A man who pretended to be a policeman was arrested in Barangay Lutopan, Toledo City, Cebu on Sunday evening, May 24, 2020.
The suspect, identified as Ruel Abella, claimed he was a policeman when he threatened personnel of the Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO) 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company (PMFC) conducting an operation on loose firearms in the area on Sunday morning.
Abella was later arrested by the Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Agency Visayas Field Unit (IMEG-VFU) and was brought to the CPPO facility in Sudlon, Barangay Lahug, here, where he is detained pending the filing of charges for violation of Republic Act 379 of the revised penal code (usurpation of authority or official functions), RA 10591 (law on firearms and ammunitions), and RA 9516 (unlawful manufacture or possession of an explosive or incendiary device).
Police Lieutenant Colonel Christoper Natnat of the IMEG-VFU said that the alleged threats received by some policemen happened on Sunday morning, when the 2nd PMFC held an operation in the village on loose firearms. They were doing house-to-house visits to ask residents to surrender loose firearms.
Natnat said Abella approached the police handling the operation and introduced himself as an IMEG officer. Police suspected that Abella was hiding some loose firearms because he started to get angry and told the team that he will make sure to tell higher-ranked police officers to have the PMFC men relieved from service.
“Nagpakilala siya na IMEG daw siya at tinatakot niya yung pulis na isusombong sa mga higher officials at ma filelan ng criminal at administrative charges,” said Natnat.
(He introduced himself as IMEG and threatened the police that he will tell higher officials to file criminal and administrative charges against them.)
After the operation, the police did a background check on Abella and found out that he wasn’t actually a police officer as he claimed. The IMEG-VFU also received reports that Abella was an owner of loose firearms and explosives, which led them to plan a raid on his home later that night.
Police, indeed, found loose firearms in Abella’s home during the raid, which led to the arrest.
Natnat said that they are in the process of gathering more information about Abella as they suspect that he may have used the police to engage in illegal activities.
“The fact alone that he has firearms and explosives could convince people that he is a policeman,” said Natnat. /bmjo
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