PDEA-11 denies ‘cover-up’ in Davao Oro drug raid

PDEA-11 denies ‘cover-up’ in Davao Oro drug raid

DAVAO CITY – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 11 (Davao Region) denied Wednesday speculations of a “cover-up” in the drug raid at a beach resort in Barangay Pindasan in Mabini, Davao de Oro on November 6.

“Those are speculations and I don’t understand why there are issues about a ‘certain list’ because this is a planned operation and the intricacies of the operation are with us and of course our subjects of the operation are those who were arrested,” Aileen Lovitos, PDEA-11 regional director, said at a virtual press conference.

She clarified that the 17 arrested were the subject of their operation and as per the statement they released to the media.

The name of former Davao City Information Office head Jefry Tupas was not included, she added.

During the raid, authorities arrested Revsan Ethelbert P. Elizalde, the subject of the buy-bust, 33, of Barangay Catalunan Pequeño, with his alleged cohorts — Eana Faye Marie Olea, Bryk Jiordan Archival, Kurk Bryan Tiubot, and Paolo Guerero.

Also nabbed while having a supposed drug session were Jomark Aping, Ariel Bueno, Edel Caballero, Ronald Chuan, Fritz Dinopol, Tom Jhun Doblas, Mark Christopher Isip, Janlord Masong, Christopher Prudente, Jesus Ragas III, Giovanni Tabanao, and Jason Viduya.

Although a statement was released by the office of Mayor Sara Z. Duterte on Tuesday confirming the involvement of Tupas during the drug raid, Lovitos said only 17 were their subject and that all were successfully arrested.

“I cannot decipher [the statement] but I will take it as it is. Ms. Tupas has made her statement and I cannot comment on that. But she [Tupas] can also comment about it,” Lovitos added.

She, however, clarified that Tupas will be a part of the ongoing investigation.

She also added that the drug personalities arrested have been monitored for some time because the party drugs being peddled were not common and that they needed to conduct careful surveillance with other law enforcement agencies.

“The target that we have has been our target for quite some time. Months of monitoring were conducted before the operation,” Lovitos said.

Amid all the allegations, she assured that they will investigate the claims of those arrested who were saying that Tupas and other individuals were allowed to leave the area by PDEA agents.

“There is an ongoing investigation on this (as to) what transpired during the operation, and further look what had happened upon its conduct,” Lovitos said. (PNA)

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