THE case against seven members of the Regional Drug Enforcement Unit (RDEU)-6 was temporarily shelved for lack of evidence.
The PNP Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division (RIDMD) recommended that the case “be temporarily shelved off without prejudice to the reopening of the same if substantial, clear, and corroborating evidence will be presented later.”
Superintendent Pablito Asmod Jr., RIDMD chief, signed the recommendation, which is likely to be adopted by Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao, Western Visayas police chief.
The seven RDEU policemen were earlier relieved from the unit after they were embroiled in a controversy that arose from the raid against relatives of slain Western Visayas drug personality Melvin Odicta.
The relieved officers were Senior Inspector Kennith Bermejo, SPO2 Marlon Legaspi, PO3 Nilo Gamboa, PO3 Jesus Galleron, PO2 Fortunato Moso, PO2 Jeric Dagyang, and PO1 Jerry Villanueva.
Bulalacao then ordered an investigation on the said officers.
Aside from the shelving of the case, Asmod also recommended the temporary disbandment of Senior Inspector Kennith Bermejo and the six other police officers “to prevent any similar incident that will place the RDEU in a doubtful and malicious presumption.”
Bulalacao said that the recommendation is now moot and academic since the officers were already relieved and reassigned to the Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit (RPHAU).
The RIDMD also recommended that the Regional Internal Affairs Service (RIAS)-6 conduct a motu propio (by its initiative) investigation on any alleged violation of human rights that may have occurred in the conduct of police operations.
Among the possible points of investigation is violations of police operational procedure as stated in Section 1.b, Rule 6 of the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) Memorandum Circular No. 2016-002.
Bulalacao ordered the probe saying that RDEU-6 personnel should be “free of any taint of corruption or irregularity.”
The investigation is also necessary so that the concerned officers can answer the allegations against them.
The seven officers were part of the team that raided the Regalados’ house at Barangay Sambag, Jaro, Iloilo City on Dec. 13, 2018.
Days later, the Regalado matriarch, 84-year-old Candelaria, claimed irregularity in the conduct of the raid.
She later filed administrative and criminal charges against eight members of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and six RDEU personnel.
In her affidavit, Candelaria said the accused “looted, took and carried away against my will and consent my personal properties that were being kept at my house.”
Candelaria alleged that they lost P2.466 million worth of valuables.