Cops arrest alleged scammer claiming to be Duterte's relative

MANILA, Philippines – Police arrested a man who has been claiming he has authority from Malacañang to appoint people to barangay posts.

Jose Matias was arrested inside Deva Cruz Resort in San Pablo, Laguna last Thursday, March 8. He is accused of estafa, swindling, and usurpation. He also faces charges for resisting arrest and falsifying public documents.

Matias has been going around introducing himself as "Attorney Jose Roa Matias II" in gatherings and media interviews.

"Roa" is the middle name of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Personnel from the Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) arrested Matias in an entrapment operation.

They were acting on a complaint because in May 2017, Matias allegedly invited the complainant to a meeting for the "People's Congress" in Mabalacat, Pampanga.

There, the complainant was told to pay P75,000, supposedly in exchange for an appointment to a post in any barangay of his choosing. Matias then allegedly told the complainant to pay an additional P5,000 for the "processing" of his application as a barangay official.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año earlier cautioned government officials over Matias, saying he had been visiting towns and cities and claiming that he had authority from Malacañang to appoint local officials for a supposed revolutionary government.

Matias underwent inquest proceedings after his arrest. –