Police on Sunday arrested a woman for allegedly pretending to be a Tagbilaran City regional trial court (RTC) judge and asking for money from various individuals through Facebook in exchange for the release of a detainee.
The suspect, identified as Eden Dacaldacal, 34, was collared by operatives of the Regional Anti-Cybercrime Unit (RACU) 7 and the Tagbilaran City Police Station in an entrapment operation at Fely’s Pension House in Barangay Cogon.
Dacaldacal had allegedly created a Facebook account using the name of Judge Jennifer Chavez-Marcos, presiding judge of the RTC 2 in Tagbilaran City, and sent messages to persons asking for money in exchange for the release of detained individuals.
“It appears that the modus of poser Judge Jenefer ChavezMarcos using my name is to ask ‘new friends’ if they have friends or relatives presently detained or imprisoned. The poser would then ask for favors in cash or kind with a promise that the poser will do something for the detainee,” Chavez-Marcos said in a Facebook post.
In a statement, the RACU said that during their sting operation, a friend of Chavez-Marcos who was one of those contacted by Dacaldacal met with the suspect supposedly to pay P2,000 in exchange for the release of a detained individual.
Operatives apprehended Dacaldacal immediately after the transaction.
Charges for violation of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code for swindling in relation to Section 6 of Republic Act 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, were filed against Dacaldacal, who was detained at the Tagbilaran City Police Station.
Chavez, in an interview with station dyRD’s “Inyong Alagad” on Tuesday, said several persons sent her messages through Facebook Messenger informing her of the scam and asking her if she had indeed asked money from them.
“Mao to sila ang niingon nga ‘judge ikaw ba ni, nangayo kuno ka og P5,000 pang gasoline, nangayo kuno ka og P3,000 para sa sakyanan,’ I received and read those for two days,” Marcos-Chavez said.
She then immediately issued a statement on Facebook informing the public of the scam and assuring that she is not behind the alleged solicitation.
The judge said that she has never used her position to gain favors and money in exchange for favorable court decisions.
“I have yet to hear somebody complain na ingon ana ko na pagkahuwis, kay kung ngana ko na pagkahuwis, let them file the administrative complaint before the Supreme Court,” said Marcos-Chavez.
Chavez-Marcos believes that Dacaldacal was not working alone, noting that the scam may have been carried out by a syndicate.
“I presume that this is a syndicate kay recently daghan baya ang nadakpan,” she said.
Police meanwhile continued their investigations on the case. (R. Tutas)