Friday, March 23, 2012

News Update Bilibid 'hulidap' victims tag SPD anti-drug cops' cars

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MANILA, Philippines - Five vehicles owned by Southern Police District (SPD)’s anti-drug police officers were identified as cars used in abducting moneyed visitors of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City, according to a document obtained by The STAR.
These vehicles include two cars owned and personally used by SPD’s District Anti-Illegal Drugs (DAID) chief Superintendent Raymund Liguden – a black Ford Escape (TCO-659) and a red Nissan Exalta (WTU-575).
A silver Mitsubishi Pajero (VDK 945), which Liguden also used, was included in the document. Liguden, a newly promoted police colonel, said the Pajero is owned by one of his men, Police Officer 1 Anthony James Gil.
The two other cars are a gray Mitsubishi Lancer (NOW-517) and a red Honda sedan (model not provided but with plate number ZHL-887).
These vehicles are listed in the document as “plate numbers obtained by the victims.”
“Two different victims abducted last December gave these plate numbers. One of them identified two plate numbers, while the other one identified three,” an investigator, who requested anonymity, said.
Senior Superintendent Rolando Asuncion, chief of the SPD’s directorial staff and head investigator of NBP’s “hulidap” cases, said the plate numbers and car models of the last two vehicles (Honda and Lancer) do not match.
“But based on the DAID’s coordination forms, these plate numbers belong to them,” Asuncion said, adding that DAID police officers will be probed.
The car ownership was discovered as the SPD is looking into the rampant hulidap incidents in the state penitentiary, where policemen are the alleged perpetrators.
The term hulidap stems from the Filipino word huli (caught) and holdup. It is a police term that refers to the act of a lawman kidnapping someone, then threatening to charge or detain the person in order to extort money.
At least 25 hulidap – 11 happened last year alone – cases were reported in NBP. The victims are usually wives or female relatives of prisoners with drug-related cases, who are “made into milking cows (of) erring law enforcers,” said Asuncion.
Liguden admitted that the cars belong to him and his men but claimed that he has “no idea” as to why these were tagged as hulidap cars. “We never had any operation in NBP,” he said.
The SPD has jurisdiction over seven cities including Muntinlupa where NBP is located. “I suspect that the NBP just picked out any plate number and placed ours on their report,” Liguden added when Asuncion asked him to explain.
Last week, a certain Leilani Ortega, wife of a convicted drug dealer in NBP, accused six of Liguden’s men of kidnapping her last March 6 and extorting P300,000 in exchange for her release.
In 2005, Liguden and three other police officials were slapped with criminal and administrative charges for the illegal detention of pyramiding scam suspect Ireneo Espinocilla and daughter Armi. - By Aie Balagtas See