THE operation that killed an alleged notorious drug suspect in Claveria, Misamis Oriental followed the agency’s rules of engagement, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Northern Mindanao official said Tuesday, August 16.
PDEA-Northern Mindanao spokesperson and agent Ben Calibre said proper procedure was observed in serving the search warrant on the house of Benildo Datu Barros in Sitio Dumagook, Barangay Sta. Cruz, Claveria, Misamis Oriental last August 11.
Barros was killed after he allegedly went for his gun.
In an ocular inspection of Barros’ home three days after the fatal shooting, members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) supposedly noted questionable circumstances regarding the serving of the search warrant.
Calibre said the PDEA operatives did not do anything wrong.
“Ilaha manang (Those are there) findings so unsa man lugar ilang assessment or result sa ilang ocular inspection but sa part sa PDEA among gisunod ang proper procedure sa pag serve sa search warrant,” Calibre said.
Calibre added they are willing to face whatever legal actions the family would take.
Calibre said the family members should have persuaded Barros to stop his supposed drug habit.
The operatives followed proper procedure in serving the search warrant but, he said, Barros endangered the lives of the operatives which prompted the latter to use deadly force.
“Sa akong na-istorya nga mga arresting officers dili tungod kay ang trajectory sa bala paubos naghigda siya, naglingkod ang suspect pagkuha sa armas ug granada kami kay tindog man ug taas ang height syempre paubos gyud ang trajectory, (When I talked to the arresting officers, it is not because the trajectory of the bullet fired downwards since he was lying down but because he was sitting while grabbing his weapon and grenade while they (officers) were standing.) ” Calibre said.
“Pag-aksyon niya og kuha sa pusil napurohan na gayud namo siya ang granada duol sa iyang ulohan, maghulat pa diay mi nga mapusilan? Naigo siya sa lawas pero moaksyon pa gihapon siya og sukol so gisiguro na lang gydu namo nga ma-neutralize. Dili namo intention nga mopatay sa mga operation we have to protect ourselves once wala nay lain option nga mabutang sa alanganin kato gyud among gibuhat. I believe nakabantay na siya sa among presence mao nakahigayon siya og sukol,” Calibre added.
He said, local officials and a media personality witnessed the operation.
The seized items presented to the media were the subject of the search except the items recovered in plain view such as the .38 caliber revolver and hand grenade.
Calibre also belied reports of missing automotive tools, gadgets, personal things and even the suspect's dog allegedly brought by the operating team.
“We are surprised sa mga nanggawas nga mga reports. Ulaw kaayo na sa PDEA, we have our dogs and we have gadgets and uban namo sa sakyanan ang mga public officials, wala namo na buhata,” Calibre said.
Calibre added the operation was done during early morning to prevent further risks of possible resistance from the subject.
He also clarified two of the house helpers were held after resisting but were freed after the operation.
“Kadlawon gihimo kay atong gilikayan ang untoward incident like pagsukol, ang likayan nato nga walay madamay kung adlaw man gud mas dako ang risk sa part sa operating team,” Calibre said.
Calibre added they are willing to face the Provincial Board of Misamis Oriental should they be summoned for an inquiry on the operation.