AN OFFICIAL of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Northern Mindanao on Monday, November 14, said the three scions of the Roa clan in Balingasag, including a female companion of one of the three arrested on drug charges last week, have asked the fiscal to proceed with the preliminary investigation on November 18.
The PDEA-Northern spokesperson Ben Kalibre said the inquest proceedings was supposed to take place Monday but the accused lawyer Michael Roa, Porferio Roa Jr., their nephew John Rey Roa and live in partner Justine Mae Pondavela asked the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office for a preliminary investigation on November 18.
Kalibre said various charges on violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act or Republic Act 9165 were filed last Friday, November 11, but due to lack of time, the inquest was moved on Monday.
Kalibre said the suspects have signified their intent of filing their counter affidavit in the hope that the case will not be elevated to the court.
“Pag-adto sa tropa ganiha para unta sa inquest proceedings, niingon ang pikas nga mag-waive sila kay naa sila counter nga i-file aron dili ma file ang kaso sa korte (When the troops came for the supposed inquest proceedings, the other camp said that they will waive because they will file a counter affidavit so the case won't be filed in court),” Kalibre said.
Kalibre said the anti-narcotics agency has submitted all documents and evidence at the fiscal’s office and on November 18, the suspects will have the chance to answer the allegations against them.
“Magpabilin sa fiscal’s office after matubag sa pikas ang charges, i-determine mana kung isang-at sa korte or i-dismiss (It will remain in the fiscal's office so the other camp can answer the charges. It will be determined if it will be raised in court or dismissed),” Kalibre said.
But, Kalibre is convinced that PDEA has valid grounds to bring the legal battle to the proper court based on the evidence obtained during the implementation of the search warrant.
“Our operation was proper, we have evidences and witnesses. Lawyer man si Michael pwede nila himoon ang pag-counter kay ang ordinary man gani nga tawo mag request man gani preliminary investigation kay mahadlok mapriso. Sa among part dako ang among ebidensya (Our operation was proper, we have evidences and witnesses. Michael is a lawyer and they can counter it because ordinary people even request for preliminary investigation for fear of going behind bars. In our part, we have solid evidences),” Kalibre said.
The suspects are related to incumbent Balingasag Mayor Marietta Roa-Abogado except Pondavela, and have all tested positive for illegal drug use.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on November 15, 2016.