In hot water

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Sunday, January 26, 2014


THE assistant director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 7 who challenged a radio and newspaper reporter to a gun duel over the phone is now appealing to the media man for “forgiveness” while he faces an administrative investigation conducted by the agency’s internal affairs service. Esperidion Javier has been calling dySS Super Radyo and Superbalita reporter Guam Logroño to settle their differences. He is also asking the reporter to execute an affidavit of desistance so he can use this in his counter-affidavit.

Sometime last December, Logroño called Javier to get the PDEA’s side about the complaint of a resident of Pahina Central who claimed that his house was raided by PDEA agents without a search warrant. The complainant had sought the help of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7. Logronio’s source of the story was the NBI investigator handling the case.

When sought for reaction over the phone, Javier raised his voice, and proceeded to challenge the reporter to a gun duel. “Huwag na yang interview Guam, barilan na lang tayo,” Logroño quoted Javier. He thought the officer was just joking but the latter repeated it several times. Logroño was shocked as it was the first time a news source had challenged him.

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Upset, Logroño sought the help of his colleagues in the Defense and PNP Press Corps, who confronted Javier the following day. The officer admitted having uttered the challenge and apologized.

But not content with the apology, the group headed by radio dyLA and Cebu Daily News reporter Chito Aragon sent an official complaint to the PDEA central office asking to investigate Javier’s conduct.

The PDEA central office sent a panel of investigators to get statements from Logronio and other reporters. Sensing that he might be in a “hot water,” Javier has been courting Logroño to execute an affidavit of desistance. Javier even offered money in exchange for the withdrawal of the latter’s complaint.

A radio blocktimer is brokering the deal and offered Logroño a monthly take from the PDEA. I will temporarily withhold the name of the radio blocktimer. But if he insists on trying to convince Logroño, I might be forced to expose him. The PDEA 7 legal officer also tried to convince Logroño by inviting him to lunch.

The reporter, though, is firm on his stand not to be swayed by Javier and his cohorts’ offer.

If Javier is indeed offering Logroño a monthly take from PDEA, where will he get the money? Don’t tell me he will get it from his salary. The source of the money must be coming from someone else. And who does PDEA deal with? Only those involved in drugs?

Mao diay ning dili gyud masumpo ning problema sa drugas kay naa ra man diay ang mga protektor sa ahensiya nga atong gisaligan sa pagsumpo niini. Javier is a disgrace to the organization. He should be kicked out.

***

Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Pelagio Apostol, in a series of press statements, defended his office from public criticisms over incompetency, inefficiency and a poor record of case resolution. Explaining the delay in the resolution of graft cases, Apostol blamed the delayed submission of documentary evidence by the ombudsman’s anti-corruption partners.

He outlined guidelines and procedures in the investigation and prosecution of cases.

Once a case is filed, the charge undergoes an evaluation by a designated investigator who may refer this to another government investigative agency. He said they will not manufacture evidence or create witnesses.

How long does it take to resolve a case? Ten years like the case of former vice governor John-john Osmeña? Better to shut up Mr. Apostol. Ipakita sa gawa hindi sa salita. Tikal lang na imo ya.

(bobby.nalzaro@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 27, 2014.

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