AN OFFICIAL of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Northern Mindanao (PDEA)-Northern Mindanao said they are unfazed by the charges lodged by Maria Leorupee Barros, widow of a suspect slain by anti-narcotics agents in an anti-illegal drugs operation last year.

PDEA-Northern Mindanao agent Ben Kalibre said they are willing to face the charges but declined to comment further, saying they have yet to receive the official copy of the complaint.

Barros lodged criminal and administrative complaints at the Office of the Ombudsman Friday, February 24, against PDEA-Northern Mindanao director Adrian Albariño and at least five other anti-narcotics agents.

The charges were in connection with the death of Benildo Barros, a cacao farmer, who was killed when PDEA agents served a search warrant at the Barros’ farm house in Sitio Dumagook, Santa Cruz, Claveria Misamis Oriental last August 11, 2016.

The PDEA operatives earlier claimed they were compelled to use deadly force after Barros, who was inside his room , supposedly went for his caliber .38 revolver.

Aside from Albariño, agents Vincent Orcales, Emil Ancheta, Expedito Cardona Jr., Jayvee Mar Bautista, Joerick Tacal, and PDEA agents 'John Does' and 'Jane Does', including Claveria town chief of police Chief Inspector Salvador Ruzgal Castillon Jr. are named in the complaint.

If the Ombudsman finds probable cause, the accused PDEA-Northern Mindanao personnel will be charged in court.

Albariño and his men will also face administrative cases for grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and criminal charges for murder, robbery, coercion, arbitrary detention, abuse in the service of search warrant, searching domicile without witnesses, and perjury in violation of the Revised Penal Code.

But Kalibre said the charges will not, in any way, affect the integrity of the regional anti-narcotics agency.

He maintained that the men of PDEA-Northern Mindano are doing their job and will continue to carry out the mandate of their office as the lead agency in the government's war on drugs.