An ambulance driver of the Philippine National Police General Hospital, Health Service was arrested in an entrapment operation on Monday afternoon for offering to facilitate for a fee the applications of aspiring policemen.
PNP Chief, Police General Guillermo Lorenzo T Eleazar said that the Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG), led by PBGen Thomas R. Frias Jr, arrested PSSG JOEL ZALUN BUNAGAN, 37 years old, and a resident of North Fairview, Quezon City, for extorting PHp100,000 from a PNP applicant.
Eleazar ordered the immediate filing of criminal charges and the initiation of summary dismissal proceedings against Bunagan, who was already arrested last year for the same criminal activity, and his possible cohorts.
“Inaalam natin kung paano nanatili pa sa serbisyo ang ungas na pulis na ito. Tutukuyin natin kung sino ang mga kasabwat ng Bunagan na iyan at kanyang mga nilapitan para ‘di masibak sa pwesto. Dapat magsama-sama sila sa kulungan,” he said.
An irate PGen Eleazar stressed, “Sobrang tapang din ng hiya nito na nahuli na dati at nabuko, nakasuhan pa. Pero hindi pa din tumigil sa kabulastugan.”
Bunagan was first arrested in an April 8, 2020 entrapment operation by operatives of the IMEG and the Intelligence Group which validated his involvement in extorting cash ranging from PHp100,000 to PHp150,000 from PNP applicants with health issues.
According to a report of the IMEG and the IG on last year’s arrest of Bunagan, “Subject police officer is extorting 100,000 pesos cash money from PNP applicants who have medical issues with promise that PNP applicants who will settle the said amount to the subject will pass through the medical examinations smoothly.”
His arrest in 2020 in Barangay Kaligayahan, Novaliches, Quezon City, stemmed from a complaint from a PNP applicant at the time.
Last Monday, May 31, another entrapment operation was set against Bunagan based on the complaint of a PNP applicant that the suspect had been demanding Php100,000 in exchange for his passing the PNP recruitment process.
Teams of the IMEG’s CID and NCRFU conducted at about 3:00 PM an entrapment operation against Bunagan along Waling-Waling Street, Sampaguita Subdivision, Barangay 175, Camarin, Caloocan City, and arrested him as soon as he took the marked money.
Recovered from Bunagan was the 1,000 peso-bill marked money, an I-Phone, and a Keeway 125 blue and black motorcycle.
Bunagan is in the custody of the IMEG and is facing criminal charges including violation of Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Act of 2018.
PGen Eleazar commended PBGen Frias and his men for Bunagan’s arrest and assured, “Hindi na natin hahayaang makalusot pa itong suspek para harapin ang mga kasong kanyang kinakaharap. Talagang pananagutin natin ito.”
He said that the suspect was subjected to administrative proceedings and was already indicted last year. At the time of his arrest last Monday, he was out on bail.
He pointed out, “Bunagan and his kind are the reason why we started reforms in our recruitment system, making it nameless and faceless with the use of QR codes for the entire process of the PNP application. We will no longer allow the shenanigans of the few rotten eggs in the ranks get in the way of the PNP recruiting only the best and most qualified in the service.”
He warned the few remaining rogues in uniform to change their ways or face sure arrest and dismissal from the service.