Extortionists victimize Glydel Mercado

Luigene Yanoria
Glydel Mercado fears more people have been victimized before her/EPA

Glydel Mercado is letting the wheels of justice move after she helped entrap a man who received marked money to settle her tampered water utility meter bill in Manila on Friday, August 8.

The Kapuso actress filed robbery and extortion charges against three others who identified themselves as affiliated with Maynilad.

"Mabuti na-entrap ko siya. Kasi meron akong friend na lawyer. Nagtanong ako, ‘Pare, anong gagawin ko? Eto na naman, may problema na naman ako. May apat na taong nangha-harass,” she told Yahoo Philippines in an interview at GMA Network on Tuesday, August 26, for her upcoming afternoon series “Ang Lihim ni Annasandra.”

Glydel recounted that a certain Edwin Vargas told her on August 8 she had to settle the water bill of her salon in Manila. The accumulated bill for the tampered meter amounted to P97,000.

"'Sir, ayoko magbayad ng P97,000,’” she told the suspect. "Nag-suggest siya na lahat ng employees ng Maynilad, kapag nakakahuli ng tampered meter, may incentive na 20% commission from the bill.”

Glydel said that Vargas instructed her to settle “under the table” with the amount of P18,000 (derived from the 20% incentive), plus P3,000 for an alleged auditor named Alvin De Ocampo who would pull out her bill from Maynilad records.

Entrapment

Upon her lawyer-friend’s advice, Glydel tricked Vargas by telling him she will pay P21,000 in her salon. She commissioned four barangay council men to join the sting operation.

Vargas instructed a certain John Albert Ortiz to pick up the money from Glydel. Four policemen eventually entered the scene and caught Ortiz receiving money from the actress. The man has since been detained at Central Market Police Station 3 in Sta. Cruz, Manila.

Tonton Gutierre’s wife smelled “something fishy” when she learned that Vargas is indeed an employee of the agency in charge of Maynilad’s meter reading. She asked the water distributor to conduct an internal investigation on a possible inside job.

More tampered meters

'Yung nakipag-negotiate sa’kin, employee talaga (sa agency) kaso nag-AWOL (absence without leave) for one month. Kasama siya. Siya 'yung nakausap ko.”

Glydel fears more people have been victimized before her because they found half a sack of tampered meters and fake IDs in Ortiz’s possession.

“[Inilabas ko ‘to] para maging aware 'yung mga tao. Kasi alam ko marami na silang niloko.”