PDEA to investigate bungling agents

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) assured that no stone will be left unturned in its investigation to determine the possible lapses committed by its agents during a search warrant operation in Iloilo City.

“Please be informed that this incident is already undergoing a thorough investigation by the PDEA Intelligence and Investigation Service upon orders of PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino,” PDEA spokesperson Derrick C. Carreon said Monday.

Carreon added that the PDEA personnel involved in the joint operation with the PNP are now on floating status and are under investigation at the PDEA national headquarters.

“The PNP is also conducting a parallel investigation. We will issue another statement when there is a significant development in the investigation,” he noted.

The PDEA-6 has a new regional director officer in charge, Alex Tablate, former deputy director of PDEA-8 (Eastern Visayas), following the relief of eight other agents.

The relieved PDEA personnel were part of the team that raided the house of couple Arnulfo and Nilda Regalado in Barangay Sambag in Jaro district last Dec. 13, where an estimated P380,000 worth of suspected shabu and firearms were recovered by authorities.

The Regalado family, however, claimed losing pieces of jewelry and personal belongings worth P2.5 million after the raid and reported the incident to the Jaro Police Station.

The relief order issued by Aquino took effect last December 17.

Earlier, Aquino expressed dismay over the raiding team of PDEA-6 for failing to file drug charges against the suspects.

Arnulfo and his brothers, Cyril and Leo, are siblings of Meriam Odicta, wife of slain drug lord Melvin Odicta.

The failure of PDEA-6 to file the charges paved the way for the Regalado couple, as well as Cyril and Leo to be released after their arrest.

Chief Supt. John Bulalacao, Police Regional Office (PRO) 6 director, in a previous interview, said the suspects were not charged by PDEA-6 due to a delay in the preparation of the documents.

PDEA-6 has blamed their broken photocopier and printer for the delay in preparing the documents, Bulalacao said.

The charges they were supposed to file were not accepted by the state prosecutor because they exceeded the reglementary period, he added.PNA