THE camp of Masantol Mayor Danilo Guintu is set to file criminal, administrative, and civil complaints against officers of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) for allegedly "harassing" their group during a private meeting held in a private memorial park in the town.

According to Guintu, CIDG Pampanga agents, led by its Team Leader Police Major Arvin Hosmillo, all in uniforms and some were bringing long firearms, allegedly barged in while his team was holding a meeting with their leaders and coordinators at the Lakeview Memorial Park.

“Mga alas-tres ng hapon, dumating ang mga taga-CIDG. Naka-tatlong sasakyan, pagbaba nila parang giyera. Nagmamadali, tumatakbo, dala iyong mga baril. Natakot iyong mga tao, lalo na may mga babae at matatanda,” Guintu said.

He added that CIDG agents initially were not able to identify him as the incumbent mayor until he introduced himself after an alleged short commotion between the uniformed personnel and reelectionist Councilor Bajun Lacap.

“Nandoon ako nung dumating sila, hindi ko sinasabi na ako ang mayor. Sinabihan ko lang ang aking konsehal na si Bajun Lacap na ituloy ang pagsasalita niya hanggang dumating ang team leader nila, si Major Arvin at nagbuno sila ni Councilor Bajun,” the mayor said.

According to Lacap, he was taking a video of the incident for documentation but Hosmillo allegedly prohibited him by trying to confiscate his phone.

“Nung nakita nila ako na nagvi-video, pinuntahan ako ni Major Arvin at inaagaw niya ang cellphone ko. Tinatanong ko bakit kinukuha, sabi niya bawal daw ako magcellphone. Tinatanong ko bakit bawal eh sila nga nagbi-video,” Lacap said.

He said he was resisting to surrender his phone as it was his personal property and authorities have no basis to confiscate it.

“Nagreresist ako dahil pag-aari ko iyong cellphone pero wala akong intensyon na lumaban. Hanggang sa pagreresist ko, nakita ko inangat ni Major Arvin ang baril niya. Hindi niya tinutok pero siguro akala niya aagawan ko siya ng baril, inangat niya. Pagkatapos noon, sinabihan niya ang kasama niya na posasan ako at iyong kasama tinutukan ako ng .45 sa dibdib,” he said.

SunStar Pampanga was furnished with a copy of the videos, which showed the altercation between Lacap and Hosmillo, including struggle for the possession of Lacap’s phone.

Asked if they have knowledge about the supposed operation of CIDG, Guintu said they were looking for his former employee who was a suspect in a murder case.

“Hinahanap nila sa akin iyong tao eh matagal ng wala sa akin iyon. Dati siyang nagtatrabaho sa akin pero umalis na siya at halos isang buwan na kaming walang komunikasyon. Kung nasa akin siya, ako pa mismo ang magsusurrender sa kanya dahil hindi naman ako magkukunsinte ng taong alam kong may kaso,” he said.

The incumbent mayor also questioned the “special focus” given by the CIDG to the case of his former employee.

“Naiintindihan ko na murder ang kaso, seryoso pero napakaimportante naman yata ng taong iyan. Wala na bang mas malaking kaso sa Pampanga? Ang tawag natin dito political harassment. Isang buwan na nilang hinahanap ang tao. Palaging nandyan, iyong bahay ko sa kabila pinipicture-an nila. Bakit sa akin nila hinahanap ang taong iyan?” Guintu said.

He added that according to the local chief of police, the CIDG did not coordinate with the local police until after the operation.

Guintu’s legal counsel, Jeremy Panganiban, said they will be filing multiple charges against the operating team as soon as they are able to collate statements from the witnesses in the area.

“Dapat pagpasok nila i-announce nila ang arrest warrant pero ang ginawa nila, nagbarge in sila agad. Private property iyong lugar at bigla silang nanggulo. Marami po silang nalabag na batas at ito po ay dadalhin namin sa tamang venue. Nakikita rin natin dito iyong excessive force dahil napakarami nila na nandoon pero iisa lang naman ang hinahanap nila,” Panganiban said.

Based on the pre-operation clearance form presented by Hosmillo, at least ten CIDG personnel including him were present during the operation.

Legitimate operation

Meanwhile, Hosmillo maintained that the operation they launched in Masantol town against a wanted person was legitimate.

He added that documents such as pre-operations clearance, coordination form, warrant of arrest and blotter entry from the local police were secured before and after the operation.

“Before po kami nagcoconduct ng operation dito sa CIDG, nagsesend po kami ng pre-operation clearance. Meron po iyan mga time stamp kaya hindi madadaya. Dalawa din po ang coordination form namin at isesend po iyan sa Regional Tactical Operation Center at ididisseminate po iyan at meron din tayong ebidensya na na-receive ng Masantol Police Station iyan as of 10:52 in the morning iyong radio message para sa operation namin,” he said.

SunStar Pampanga was also able to secure copies of the documents presented by the CIDG.

Hosmillo, chief of CIDG-Pampanga Field Unit, asserted that they were only serving the warrant of arrest against their target person in the said area after they received an intelligence information that the suspect was seen there.

“Unang una po, hindi namin alam na nandoon si mayor. Ang information lang sa amin was the suspect was sighted in that area kaya doon kami nagpunta,” he said.

He added that the suspect is listed as among the most wanted persons of the Police Regional Office-Central Luzon.

Hosmillo also denied Lacap’s claim that a gun was pointed to his chest by a CIDG personnel.

“I can categorically deny that. Meron naman tayong documentation or video to prove that. But if he is accusing us that, he needs to prove it,” he said.

The CIDG chief declined to show the video during the operation but showed a video of Lacap, who was signing a handwritten letter acknowledging that a handgun was turned over to his possession.

Hosmillo said the handgun, along with an identification card bearing a name of Gabriel Santos, employed as VIP security under the Office of the Mayor, was found inside a bag on a grassy part of the area.

Meanwhile, Hosmillo urged the camp of Guintu to direct to the proper court the irregularity that they claim to have transpired during the operation.

“If they want to contest the legality of our operation, there is a proper venue to that. It should not be with the media for purposes of publicity or seeking empathy,” he said.