4 nabbed for alleged extortion, carrying weapons at Cebu park

Annie Perez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 19 2019 06:43 PM

Police on Thursday arrested four men for allegedly carrying weapons at a park in Cebu City, scaring flower vendors. 

According to Police Capt. Franklin Tale Jr., deputy chief of the Carbon Police Station, they received a call from a concerned citizen that there were men in military clothes asking money from owners of flower stalls at Freedom Park. 

When police arrived at the area, they found that the suspects were not only wearing military clothes but were carrying multiple bladed weapons and a .45 caliber pistol.

They found out that they were members of Alimaong, a group that claims they are grandchildren of hero Lapu-Lapu. They also claim ownership over lands in Cebu.

One alias "Kali Panther" admitted asking for money or "tax" from flower stall owners, claiming they were "sitting on land Alimaong owned." He, however, denied that they were scaring the vendors. 

"Maybe because we were wearing these uniforms," he said. 

The men also pointed out that they are from an indigenous group and have the right to bring weapons in public.

Tale said they have to validate if Alimaong has been duly recognized by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, which is responsible for protecting the rights of IPs in the country. 

The men are facing charges of extortion and illegal possession of firearms and bladed weapons.