DOJ calls on witnesses to help prosecute policemen ‘involved in drug war deaths’

Published October 20, 2021, 12:43 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Department of Justice

The Department of Justice (DOJ) called on witnesses to help in the prosecution of 154 policemen who allegedly committed criminal acts in 52 anti-illegal drugs operations which resulted in deaths to 56 persons, most of them suspects.

The call was made in a statement issued by the DOJ on Wednesday, Oct. 20, as it released the circumstances of the deaths in the operations. The policemen allegedly involved were not named, however.

“These cases are to undergo further investigation and case buildup by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for the possible filing of criminal charges against erring police officers,” the DOJ said.

In making public the cases, the DOJ said that it is “inviting any witnesses or persons with first-hand information helpful to the resolution of the 52 cases to come forward and approach to NBI for the taking of their statements.”

Also, the DOJ said the release of the circumstances and other details in the 52 cases is also meant to inform “the families and loved ones of the deceased suspects that the circumstances surrounding each incidence of death are undergoing a determination of possible criminal liabilities on the part of the erring police officers.”

It said it recognizes “the importance of transparency in the review process — balanced with the considerations of respecting due process as the NBI’s investigation and case build up begins….”

The Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS) submitted the records of the 52 cases to the DOJ for review after finding administrative liability on the part of the policemen involved in the drugs operations.

There were 56 persons killed in the 51 of the cases.

One of the cases includes the Dec. 10, 2018 killing of Richard Santillan, the former aide of former Biliran Rep. Glenn Chong. Santillan and his companion, Gessamyn Casing, were killed in Cainta, Rizal.

While there was no death reported in another case, it resulted in the wounding of one of the two suspects — Jainuddin Alanjina Itin and Aikma Aminul Bulag — during a firefight in Zamboanga City on June 29, 2020.

Those who died in the other cases were identified in the data released by the DOJ as:

Ryan Roboso who was killed on Dec. 15, 2016 in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City; Clark Nardo, July 18, 2019, Sta. Maria, Pangasinan; Nave Perry Alcantara, Aug. 21, 2018, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan; Benjamin Calisnao, Aug. 2, 2017, Aparri, Cagayan; Dexter Dela Cruz, July 4, 2017, Sanchez Mira, Cagayan; Fred Ifurung, July 4, 2017, Lal-lo, Cagayan;

Crispin Vedano, Jan. 23, 2020, Bansud, Oriental Mindoro; Benoy Canete Lucena, Sept. 4, 2016, Paracale, Camarines Norte; Orlando Villena, Oct. 10, 2019, Siacon, Zamboanga del Norte; Anwar Sawadjaan, Noel Bacalso, and Angelo Hofer, July 29, 2016, Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte; Ernesto Callo, Sept. 5, 2020, Initao, Misamis Oriental;

Leo Morata, Aug. 5, 2017, Tagum City, Davao del Norte; Alec Longos Tolibas, Oct. 5, 2016, Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte; Noelito Montilla and Mark Gerald Rivas, Aug. 15, 2016, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur; Kent Lee Caballes, Aug. 16, 2017, Trento, Agusan del Sur; Jose Nelson Garbo Jr., Aug. 8, 2016, Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur;

Eleser Castor Nunez, Dec. 5, 2019, San Francisco, Agusan del Sur; Ronald Diaz Alban, Sept. 29, 2016, San Francisco Agusan del Sur; Jessica Albaran, Nov. 30, 2016, Trento Agusan del Sur; Diego Lafuente, Jan. 8, 2020, Gen. Luna, Surigao del Norte; Elpidio Sevilla Francisco, Jan. 30, 2020, La Paz, Agusan del Sur; Fahad Mamasapano, July 20, 2016, Mamasapano, Maguindanao;

Lordan Apolonio, Sept. 23, 2016, Bacoor City, Cavite; Bryan Alegre, Oct. 29, 2018, Binan, Laguna; Wilmar Tolosa, Dec. 14, 2018, Cabuyao City, Laguna; Rodolo Mayorca, Nov. 3, 2018, San Pedro City, Laguna; Adan Abarkis, Dec. 17, 2018, Binan City, Laguna; Dionisio Corpin, Feb. 17, 2019, San Pedro City, Laguna; Ali Basher Adiong, March 12, 2019, Calamba City, Laguna;

Roderick Melendez Fortuno, May 28, 2019, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna; Ever Morales Barcenas, June 13, 2019, Cabuyao City, Laguna; Christina Manebo, July 7, 2019, Calamba City, Laguna; Edgar Bonoan Layos Jr., Nov. 8, 2018, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna; Joseph Solis and Ronald Gonzales, oct. 23, 2016, San Pedro City, Laguna; Aries Dimaranan, Oct. 25, 2018, Binan City, Laguna;

Jonel Villanueva, Aug. 10, 2019, Cavite City, Cavite; Aurelio Demetillo, May 9, 2018, Tanza, Cavite; Romeo Castillo Jr., June 6, 2019, Lucena City, Quezon; Celvin Pernes, July 5, 2020, Tanza, Cavite; Michael Sierra, Aug. 14, 2020, Gen. Trias City, Cavite; Ruel Reyes, June 11, 2018, Gen. Trias, Cavite; Jomar Manalo, June 18, 2018, Dasmarinas, Cavite;

Dionil Suarez, Sept. 2, 2016, Dalig, Antipolo City; Edgar Iloilo Jr., Sept. 29, 2016, Antipolo City; Rodrigo Rio, Oct. 10, 2018, Cabuyao City, Laguna; Francisco Ribay, Feb. 15, 2018, Cabuyao City, Laguna; Carl Angelo Arnaiz, Aug. 18, 2017, Caloocan City; Sharif Amatonding, Dec. 16, 2016, San Pedro, Laguna; alias Jay-R, Oct. 29, 2016, Rodriguez, Rizal, and Armando Tenchavez, April 23, 2020, Iligan City.