The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has placed under watch unidentified active government officials in Palawan believed to be involved in the illegal drugs trade.
This was disclosed Monday by PDEA provincial officer Christopher S. Torres, appearing at the City Council’s “Question Hour”.
“Government officials meron, may active,” Torres said when asked by Councilor Elgin Damasco if there are local government officials involved in the illegal drugs trade.
Torres however did not disclose the names, stating these are “confidential” in nature.
Torres also said that Arnel Ramirez Alvarade, 37, the civilian who was arrested during the drug buy-bust operation that turned into a hot pursuit on June 1 in Puerto Princesa, was named on “Duterte drug list”.
“Kasama ‘yong civilian sa inter-agency drug database, also called Duterte drug list. [With] regards to Pablico, walang records na involved siya sa illegal drugs,” Torres added.
Torres stressed that police officers who are no longer on active duty, along with other active public officers, are being tracked on their “monthly report status”.
P/MSsg. Philip Abejo Pablico, 40, of the Palawan Provincial Police Office (PPPO), who remained confined at the hospital for a gunshot wound to his shoulder, was also alleged to have been previously suspended while assigned in Busuanga municipal police station (MPS).
Pablico was said to have been assigned before in Laguna PPO (PNP CALABARZON) prior to his reassignment in Busuanga and Agutaya MPS.
The PDEA and the City PNP have also denied that Pablico was a “police asset” in alleged anti-illegal drugs police operations.
Councilor Victor Oliveros pointed out that the imposition of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) mid-March has not hampered the supply of the illegal drugs in the city despite the travel restrictions.
Lt. Col. Alonso Tabi Jr., deputy director for operations of the Puerto Princesa City Police Office (PPCPO) admitted that the supply chain can be traced back to certain ties in courier or cargo services.
“May mga padala sa barko, eroplano, cargo. Meron kaming nahuli noon empleyado mismo ng barko,” said investigator P/Ssg. Mel Japheth Salmo.
“Based on trend, halos ganoon din ang supply ng drugs sa city,” Tabi added when asked by councilor Herbert Dilig on the supply-demand chain that may have been circulating in Puerto Princesa.
Torres and Tabi affirmed that no illegal syndicate has been reported in the city “so far on record”.
Councilor Peter Maristela moved a resolution to subject the police officers to undergo drug testing, which was unanimously concurred by the City Council dispensing second and final reading.
“Kinakailangan ‘yon kasi sila ang nagpapatupad ng batas eh. Kinakailangan [na] yung nagpapatupad ng batas ay mayroong kredebilidad ano na mapaniwalaan, may trust sa kanila yung ating mga kababayan na sila ang nagpapatupad ng batas,” Maristela said.
Pablico is facing criminal raps in violation of Republic Act (RA) 10591 or illegal possession of firearms for unregistered 5.56 carbine “infant armalite” and caliber .45 Norinco; RA 9165 for conspiracy in selling and possession of illegal drugs; and attempted murder in relation to assault upon agents of persons in authority.
Alvarade is facing charges against RA 9165 or possession and selling of illegal drugs.
Spouses Simplicio Ibañez Yayen, 57, and Gina Barda Yayen, 47, who were both out on bail, were also sued for obstruction of justice, for allegedly resisting the arrest of Pablico by law enforcement authorities.
(With reports from Loren Jane Tumalac)