Camp Crame, Quezon City, June 28, 2002 (STAR) Authorities are on the verge of busting a loan fraud racket in Camp Crame after they arrested a policeman and nine others for alleged falsifying documents of Philippine National Police members to acquire "millions of pesos in illegal loans."

But sources at the Central Police District said that while they have apprehended the "nitty-gritty syndicate members," they have yet to "catch the big fish," possibly a high-ranking police official of the PNP in Camp Crame.

Suspect PO3 Eduardo Rojales, 39, stationed at the Northern Police District, was arrested the other day while trying to obtain a check for P250,000 from the Air Material Wing Savings and Loan Association, Inc. (AMWSLAI) using forged signatures on falsified papers.

His cohorts were collared after Rojales named them during interrogation. They were identified as Godofrendo Paulete, 49, Victoria de Castro, 32, Jovy Quiban, 30, Manuel Dizon, 40, Wilfredo Malapitan, 33, and Roger Panesa, 29.

Wilfredo Alzate, 43, a retired officer of the Bureau of Fire Protection, Arturo Anicieto, 44, and Daniel Bruno, 38, were arrested for the same offense during a separate operation.

Police sources believe they belong to a crime syndicate operating within the confines of Camp Crame, obtaining personal documents and payslips from unwary policemen and using them as "credentials" to obtain loans from AMWSLAI.

According to Senior Inspector Rodolfo Jaraza, CPD-Central Investigation Unit chief, this is a syndicate that has affected PNP members nationwide because the suspects had access to the finance service in Camp Crame and could get hold of papers of policemen with no current loans from AMWSLAI.

"They then pretend to be the policemen on the falsified documents and apply for loans costing the innocent victims a significant deduction from their salaries," Jaraza said in an interview.

Employees of AMWSLAI, which give service loans to policemen and military personnel, said that this particular syndicate has been "operating and stealing from policemen since last year."

Suspect Rojales had with him personal documents of SPO3 Edwin Daligdig and applied for a loan of P250,000 at the AMWSLAI office located at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

The loan was approved and a corresponding check was issued by the finance service. But when Rojales tried to acquire the check, a loan processor, Daniel Demapindaw, noticed discrepancies in the documents.

He then called for assistance and authorities questioned Rojales. The suspect admitted the modus operandi and informed policemen of the whereabouts of the other people involved. Matthew Estabillo

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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