PDEA chief orders probe of agents involved in fake buy-bust operation

Published October 21, 2020, 5:59 PM

by Chito Chavez

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director-General Wilkins Villanueva ordered Wednesday a parallel probe against agents who allegedly made a false buy-bust operation that led to the arrest of four suspects in Dumaguete City.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (MANILA BULLETIN)
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency

Based on the GMA News account, the directive came on the heels of a Dumaguete City court decision that dismissed the drug charges against four people who were nabbed by the PDEA operatives on falsified buy-bust operations.

In the October 9 order, Judge Amelia Lourdes Mendoza ordered the release of Richard Torres, Shinette Sarabia, Gwendell Ozoa and Gabriel Aranas from detention and initiated indirect contempt proceedings against the arresting PDEA agents.

The court’s decision was based on the CCTV footage from the Dumaguete City government which showed that the four were “forced” inside a blue car one after another, at different places, within the span of a little more than one hour on June 28, 2020.

In ruling in favor of the accused, the court said the arrests made by the PDEA agents was illegal.

The accused also claimed they were “picked up” by the PDEA agents at different places, contrary to the claim of the operatives that they conducted a buy-bust operation at Torres’ house.

Later, the court discovered that the vehicle was registered with the PDEA.

In a text message, Villanueva stressed that “ PDEA will never condone any illegal acts of our personnel.’’

“We will leave it to the court while our personnel will also have their  rights to be heard. I immediately ordered for the conduct of investigation on the said incident,’’ Villanueva said.