CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY , Philippines – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency’s Internal Affairs Service (PDEA-IAS) is set to conduct an investigation on four persons, three of them anti-narcotics agents, involved in an altercation last week, PDEA-10 regional director Wilkins Villanueva said Monday, Oct. 29.
Villanueva said a team from the PDEA-IAS will investigate the three PDEA-10 agents sometime next month as he promised there will be no cover-up on the investigation.
“I will not whitewash any case from any of us (PDEA-10), and, definitely, everything has to go through the legal process. There will be no whitewash,” the official said.
Police identified the suspects as Ramil Salido, 31; Jestoni Tubongbanua, 28; Randy Doliente, 30; and Marvin Pabalate.
Except for Pabalate who was dismissed from the agency prior to the incident, Villanueva said the three are agents of PDEA-10.
According to Senior Inspector Breccia Ruth Townend, Bulua police chief, Salido had a quarrel with his wife, who called up a taxi purposely to flee their home, inside their residence in Barangay Pagatpat, this city, in the evening of Thursday, Oct. 25.
Salido, together with the other suspects, allegedly chased after the taxi driver who responded to his wife’s call, and engaged him and other taxi drivers in a confrontation, Townend said.
Quoting a spot report from responding police officers, Townend said four taxi drivers were allegedly hurt and threatened by the agents.
Townend said they suspected that the agents were under the influence of liquor when the incident happened.
The report also said the PDEA-10 operatives fired their firearms in the air. No one was reported hit by the stray bullets discharged from the agents’ weapons.
Townend said the suspects will be facing criminal charges of multiple grave threats, physical injuries, and illegal discharge of firearms.
Villanueva said he will be “hands off” in the investigation that will be conducted by the PDEA-IAS adding he will respect the decision of the investigating team.
“The rule of law must prevail. They (suspects) will have to face whatever is the result of the cases filed against them,” he said.
“We will not condone, we will not tolerate… whatever is the result of the investigation, so be it,” he added.
“If this was job-related, I [would have helped] them, but this was their own doing, and it destroyed the image of the agency. I will not help them,” Villanueva added.
To his knowledge, Villanueva said the three agents were not involved in any wrongdoing in the past and their acts surprised him.
At present, the suspects are being detained at the city police detention facility.
Villanueva said the three agents were being relieved of their duty.
Although Salido, Tubongbanua, and Doliente tested negative for drugs during a recent PDEA-10 surprise drug-testing, Villanueva said they will undergo the same process once they are out on bail.(davaotoday.com)