CIDG agent who tried to extort P8T cash from tree farmers in Agusan River arrested

by Ben Serrano, GMANEWS.TV

November 30, 2010

            Camp Rafael Rodriguez, Libertad, BUTUAN CITY- A civilian agent of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Caraga regional office based here in Butuan City was arrested by operatives of Butuan City Police Central Office Sunday afternoon, Caraga Police regional information office here said.

            In a official report by Butuan City Police Office to the PNP regional office identified the CIDG agent as Ronald Melflores alyas Bobby, Bobing and Bobi.

            Butuan Police said last Friday tree farmers towing logs along Agusan River complained to Butuan police station 1 that said CIDG agent was allegedly extorting P8,000 cash money allegedly bringing the name of the CIDG office so that their logs will not be confiscated.

            The complainant tree farmers alleged Melflores even went to river side Barangay Amparo, Butuan City were their forest products they towed along Agusan River from Agusan del Sur were located and allegedly demanded money.

            “But when we insisted that our S.O.P money were already exhausted because of so many checkpoints along Agusan River that collected money from us every time we passed even if we have proper DENR documents, thus, we bargain, begged to pay him less that what he asked, he (Melflores) started to harassed us and fired his gun” complainant tree farmer Noning Melencio alleged in his complaint.

            Thus, Melencio and his companions decided to complain their ordeal to the Butuan City Police 1 even if they admitted they were adamant to report it at first allegedly knowing that some Butuan City policemen were also allegedly asking money from them.

            Last Friday afternoon, Butuan City police operatives arrested Melflores.

            CIDG-Caraga acting regional chief Police Supt. Richie Posadas admitted that Melflores was their civilian informant/agent but quick to deny the CIDG regional office issued mission order to him to monitor alleged illegal log towing activities along Agusan River.

            Posadas also claimed CIDG has not officially issued firearm to Melflores.

            Police said robbery extortion charges have been filed against Melflores before the City Prosecutors Office.

            This is not the first time Caraga Tree Farmers towing their planted forest products along Agusan River have been complaining about policemen, alleged NBI and CIDG operatives, PNP Regional Highway Patrol Groups, joint LGU-DENR-NGO operatives manning checkpoints were allegedly asking/extorting cash money from them

            But law enforcers, DENR-LGU-NGO operatives also complained some tree farmers towed their logs along Agusan River or transport them into logging trucks along national highway without proper documentations, thus illegal.

              Tree farmers also complained some persons posing as radio broadcasters, media men were allegedly asking protection money from them.  (-30-)