Recruitment scam victims ask town councilor to return their money

Bienvinido Berja, 55, father of one of the victims.

By Dolly Yasa

LA CASTELLANA, Negros Occ. – Another group of complainants against a councilor of this town who was implicated in the alleged P15 million PNP recruitment scam appealed to the official to return their money.

“We need that money to pay back our debts,” Bienvinido Berja told reporters Sunday.

Berja, a 55-year-old tricycle driver from Barangay Cabagnaan here, said his son Kenneth Marvin is among the victims of Sangguniang Bayan (SB) member Donato “Natnat” Dumaguit who gave the latter more than P247,000 in exchange for a supposed slot in the police service.

They gave P50,000 to Dumaguit as a first installment in December 2022 after their initial talks.

Berja said Dumaguit assured him that his son, who is a Criminology graduate and board passer, has more chances of getting into the police service through his connections.

“Gin taya ya ang pagka SB ya, nagpati gid kami sa iya,” Berja said, adding that his son was also prodding him to pay because he has been jobless for almost two years.

He said they decided to pawn their small farm and also borrowed from relatives to raise the money required by Dumaguit.

Berja said he personally gave the money to Dumaguit.

“Tani ibalik ya lang ang amon kuarta para mabayad namun sa amon gin utangan kadako sato nga kantidad,” Berja said.

He said he gave an additional P25,000 to Dumaguit for the supposed plane ticket for his son’s oathtaking.

“Ginhambalan ya ko nga daku tsansa sang bata ko kay board passer,” Berja said.

He added that they were banking on their son to be able to join the police service to alleviate their living condition.

A couple, who asked not to be named, also told reporters they paid P500,000 to Dumaguit as they were both recruited by him.

They borrowed money from a relative at five percent interest as they believed and trusted him.

Two siblings were also recruited and paid Dumaguit P500,000 as well.

The complainants refuted the claims of Dumaguit that they were the ones who approached him.

They said they did not know anything about it if not for Dumaguit.

“Tani ibalik ya lang ang amon kuarta kay amon na gin utangan, ga libog ulo namun paano na namun bayran, indi ina basta basta lang nga kuarta,” Berja said in behalf of the other complainants.