Extortionists Posing as Lacson’s Senate Staff Arrested in Bulacan Sting

Impostors and namedroppers, be warned. Three persons who claimed to be staff members of Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson and who demanded money from a woman were arrested in a sting operation in Malolos City, Bulacan on Friday, October 7.

Police investigators said the group offered to intercede in a criminal charge, in exchange for money.

A report by Superintendent Ruel Cagape of the Philippine National Police Region 3 Regional Intelligence Division’s Special Concerns Unit identified the three as:

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Dina Joson Castro, 34
Roberto Fajardo, 51
Ariel Balotro, 35

Seized from them were three mobile phones, two ID cards, and bills including two marked P500 bills. The three now face charges of robbery extortion and usurpation of authority.

Investigation showed Castro introduced herself to Mercedez dela Cruz, whose son faces charges for violating the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition.

Castro, claiming to be a part of Lacson’s staff, promised to talk to the inquest prosecutor about the speedy resolution of her son’s case so he can post bail. Her group initially convinced dela Cruz to fork out P320,000, assuring her the charges against her son will be dismissed through “intercession” by Lacson’s office.

On Oct. 6, Castro contacted Mrs. dela Cruz and demanded another P30,000 for the “early resolution” of her son’s case, not knowing Mrs. dela Cruz had reported the matter to the SCU last Sept. 28 and confirmed that Castro is not connected to the senator.

The office of Senator Lacson assures the public it does not engage in – and will not tolerate – actions similar to what Castro and her group did.