MANILA — A mystery woman is allegedly involved and has ties with Senior Insp. Oliver Villanueva and dismissed Insp. Marco Polo Estrera – two of the police officers involved in the recent robbery-abduction incident on Edsa.
The woman is identified to be a Norminda Galo and has operations in Iligan, Lanao del Sur, and Cagayan de Oro, according to a former officer from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
“She is their contact. She provides the information on whom to extort from and abduct, and the team of rogue police officers carry out the mission disguised as a police operation,” said the ex-PDEA officer.
When he learned that a woman was involved in the incident, he was certain that it was Galo.
“It’s their usual modus operandi and they haven’t stopped,” the former PDEA officer said.
According to the source, PDEA has information that will link Galo to Villanueva and Estrera.
“I don’t know if Galo is using another name. But if the victims mentioned Amira Salik, I’m sure that she has a connection to Galo because Estrera and Villanueva’s group would not know who the target would be without a go signal from Galo. That’s how they operate,” he said.
Meanwhile, Eastern Police District (EPD) head, Chief Supt. Abelardo Villacorta, said that they still need to establish the identity of the woman. However, given the circumstances, she may be considered as a suspect.
“We don’t know her real identity but she had a big role in what happened that day,” Villacorta said.
In October 2006, PDEA caught Estrera’s team negotiating with a group of drug pushers at a Jollibee Branch in Banawe, Quezon City. The suspects said that it was a legitimate operation but they were not able to prove it to then PDEA Director Dionisio Santiago. Administrative cases were filed against the group but were later on dismissed.
“I was angry at the time because we caught them negotiating the release of those they had arrested for P100,000 each, while the [suspected drug pushers] were kept hogtied in the trunk of the vehicles the group used,” Santiago told the Inquirer.
He added that PDEA already established the connection of some members of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) Class of 2001 including Estrera and Villanueva way back in 2006. Galo was also identified that time.
But in 2009, Galo plead for help from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). She then received police escorts who were from PNPA Class of 2001.
“It would appear that after the Mandaluyong incident was exposed the gang belonging to the PNPA Class of 2001 continued with its illegal activities. We exposed it then and it was exposed recently by a brave commuter whose photo of the incident led to the identification of the group behind the brazen robbery-abduction,” Santiago said.
He added, “There are other members of the same class caught employing the same modus operandi—robbery-abduction and extortion disguised as a legitimate police operation. Prove me wrong, I would be gladly proven wrong.”
Ten police officers were identified and allegedly considered responsible during the robbery-abduction on September 1. Three are already in police custody, while seven are still at large.