THE Department of Justice (DOJ) has ordered the indictment of three agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and four Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel over homicide and direct assault charges in relation to the misencounter between members of the two agencies in Quezon City in 2021.
The misencounter resulted in the killing of four people.
In a statement dated May 17, the DOJ said homicide charges will be filed against PDEA agents identified as Khee Maricar Rodas, Jeffrey Baguidudol and Jelou Satiniaman for the death of Corporal Eric Elvin Garado.
Direct assault charges will be filed against Corporal Paul Christian Gandeza over the injuries suffered by PDEA agent Raymart Bayote, Lieutenant Honey Besas over the injuries suffered by PDEA agent Prince Bernard Gallego, and Major Sandie Caparroso over the injuries sustained by PDEA agent Brenson Sulang.
Caparosso, along with Staff Master Sergeant Melvin Pineda, is facing another direct assault case over the injuries suffered by PDEA agent Allan Capiral.
The DOJ ordered, however, the dismissal of charges against PDEA Romeo Asuncion in relation to the death of Corporal Lauro de Guzman.
It noted that the firearm, which killed De Guzman, was never identified and the spent cartridges found at the area did not match that of Asuncion’s pistol.
Charges against Corporal Alvin Borja in relation to the death of PDEA agent Rankin Gano were also junked after the medico-legal report and the ballistics examination conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation failed to identify the fatal shot of the anti-drug agent.
It said there was also no record showing that Borja was the only one who actually shot Gano.
“The respective information against (the) respondents are filed at the proper courts of Quezon City,” the DOJ said.
Complaints such as attempted homicide, falsification of official document, robbery, conniving to or consenting evasion, arbitrary detention, sedition and violation to the anti-torture act against the personnel involved in the incident were also dismissed.
The DOJ said that the panel of prosecutors determined the facts that both the PDEA and PNP were conducting their separate buy-bust operation along Commonwealth Avenue, but their respective informants, Untong Matalnas and Jonaire Decena, respectively intertwined the operations, which led to the misencounter.
In a statement, the PNP said the indictment of their personnel will give them an opportunity to due process.
“The PNP will leave it to the justice system to determine and evaluate the merits of the case,” it said in a statement.
“Umaasa ang PNP na patuloy pa rin ang tiwala ng publiko sa organisasyon as your law enforcers will continue to render public service in our aim to maintain peace and order,” it added. (SunStar Philippines)
Photo from DOJ website
May 19, 2022
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