In the Q&A period of the Sangguniang Panlungsod’s session on July 11, Monday, SPO2 Antonio Magbanua of PNP’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) alleged that PO3 Vincent Mutia of the Palawan Police Provincial Office (Pal-PPO) is involved in illegal drug-related activities in the province.
Magbanua raised the allegation following his discovery that Mutia failed to turn over to the PNP Crime Lab 50 grams of shabu, which were surrendered to Mutia by a man named Wilfred Tuibeo on March 13, 2015. Tuibeo, who used to be a police asset of the RAIDSOTG or Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operation Task Force/Group but is presently being tried for a murder case, said in his affidavit dated April 26, 2016 that he surrendered 50 grams of shabu to Mutia after an operation.
The statement in the affidavit, according to Magbanua, was further supported by their recovery of a ‘blue book’ from Tuibeo where the phrases “Mutia – 50, 000” and “sampung bulto na shabu” (equivalent to 50 grams) were recorded.
According to Magbanua, they found no record of Mutia turning over the illegal drugs to the PNP Crime Lab, breaking the protocol that materials of evidence should be turned over within 24 hours after receiving them.
The non-existence of any record on the alleged turn-over must be investigated, Magbanua claimed. Magbanua’s revelations add to a previous allegation by a ‘concerned citizen’ who reported that Mutia receives payola and participates in illegal drug activities in the city; Police Chief Supt Ramon Apolinario has already issued a memorandum order on April 18, 2016 directing the Regional Chief of CIDG Region 4B to investigate such allegation against Mutia.
Magbanua said Mutia’s suspicious activities were brought to his attention when they were investigating the death of Jeffrey Tompong, who was fatally gunned down in Barangay Sicsican last April 2016 over alleged disputes in drug-related remittances. According to current investigations, Tuibeo allegedly masterminded Tompong’s murder.
However, Magbanua clarified that no case has been filed against Mutia because their investigation focused on the murder case of Tompong. Nonetheless, he has requested the City Council to summon Mutia in their session to explain his alleged involvement in illegal drugs. Mutia has yet to comment on the said issue.
Meanwhile, City Police Office Director P/S Supt Redentor Maraňon, one of the invited personalities in the Q & A, said that one of the seven drug ‘surrenderees’ at his office named a police personnel as a drug protector. Marañon refused to disclose the name, however. “Na-relieve na din naman s’ya, early this year because of illegal activities,” he said. He also explained that they are not complacent in implementing Project Double Barrel. “Inuuna lang muna naming linisin ang aming hanay,” he said, underscoring the importance of moral ascendancy among policemen.