THE chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)-National Capital Region (NCR), Colonel Hansel Marantan, and 12 of his men were relieved from post over accusations of robbery and extortion by a group of Chinese businessmen.

CIDG Director Brigadier General Romeo Caramat Jr. said on Thursday, March 16, 2023, that the victims sought the assistance of Lieutenant General Rhodel Sermonia, deputy chief for the Administration of the Philippine National Police (PNP), after CIDG operatives allegedly took expensive watches, cash amounting to around P3 million and other personal belongings in what they claimed to be a raid on Monday night, March 13, 2023, at a house in Parañaque City.

The victims, according to Sermonia, were playing mahjong when the policemen arrived at the house in response to noise complaints from the neighbors.

“They started arresting those people and then allegedly, their offense was illegal gambling,” Sermonia said in an interview with reporters.

“The 13 arrested personalities were brought here at the CIDG-NCR office (Camp Crame) and then in exchange for their freedom, according to the complainants, they gave money to our operatives,” he added.

Some of the jewelry, including the two expensive watches, were recovered.

Covered by the relief order were Marantan, two other police officials and 10 non-commissioned police officers.

Caramat was quick to clarify that the relief of Marantan was on the concept of command responsibility since those involved were his men.

“In fairness to Colonel Hansel Marantan, I just received a courtesy resignation from being the regional chief of the NCR field unit. Maybe so as not to influence the investigation we are doing regarding the robbery extortion activity,” Caramat said.

“The matter is now being investigated. Their relief is an SOP (standard operating procedure) so as not to have undue influence over the case,” he added.

Sermonia said the involved policemen will undergo investigation and appropriate charges will be charged against them if necessary. (SunStar Philippines)