‘Police brutality’ case in Laguna under probe

PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief Camilo Cascolan has ordered an investigation into an alleged incident of police brutality during the arrest of a suspected drug personality in Calamba City, Laguna.

He ordered the regional director of Calabarzon Police Regional Office to ensure that all personnel of the Calamba City Police Station would be available for investigation.

"Investigation is now ongoing and I expect to obtain an initial report within the day at the latest. I am not inclined to take everything hook, line and sinker just until all unanswered questions are satisfied by a thorough investigation in the interest of truth and fair play,” Cascolan said.

Milagros Alora, in a letter to Cascolan and in a Facebook post, said 10 heavily armed individuals in civilian clothes who introduced themselves as members of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) barged into their house at around 4:30 p.m. on Friday, October 16, 2020.

Alora said the men were not able to present any warrant against her son Victor Emmanuel, who runs a vape shop located in their house.

“They beat him up. Ransacked the house, stole the sales and goods of the shop, stole the CCTV cameras, got the money of the live-in partner and stole the cellphone, money and motorcycle of Victor's driver. My five-month-old grandchild was even hurt! Even the food in the ref was not spared. Pinagpyestahan! (They feasted on it),” Alora stated.

Alora said the operatives did not immediately take her son to the police precinct as a matter of procedure as there were a lot of people who witnessed the commotion but waited until it was already dark outside.

At around 8 p.m., the men barged into the shop for the second time and forcibly took her son, his driver and shop employee.

“One neighbor who tried to intervene and help my son was even warned not to do so and an agent even poked a gun at him,” said Alora.

She said when she called the PDEA’s regional office to check about the operation, the agent who answered the phone allegedly said there was no such operation in Calamba nor was there any record of her son under PDEA surveillance.

She said she then called up the Calamba PNP to check if it was true that it was the Calamba PNP Intelligence Section that conducted the operation.

Alora said she talked to a certain Lieutenant Ignacio who said she would verify but she never called her back until a police officer who identified himself as Legado called her up and confirmed that her son was in their custody.

“I had to call up Camp Crame, Camp Vicente Lim to find out what happened to my son and his companions. I was given the runaround,” she said.

“If this thing can happen to any ordinary citizen, what about the rest of the people who have no means to defend themselves against this police brutality and thievery,” she added. (SunStar Philippines)

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