Soriano orders probe on missing 19-year-old female from Consolacion
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The top official of the Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO) ordered an investigation on the case of a 19-year-old female from Barangay Tayud in Consolacion who went missing since March 22, 2022.
Police Colonel Engelbert Soriano, director of the Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO), said that even if this does not need the formation of a Special Investigation Task Group (SITG), he already directed the chief of police of Consolacion Police Station to dig deeper into the incident.
“Sila na muna ang mag investigate, I don’t think there’s a need to create an SITG for this, level of COP na muna ito,” Soriano said.
In an interview, Marifel Auman, the mother of Jherica Auman, 19, who was working as a helper in another barangay, said that she last communicated with her daughter on March 22, 2022, when she asked her not to go outside. However, she only knew from her brother-in-law that Jherica was on board the same tricycle he was riding at that time they talked. It was past 2 p.m. on March 22 when they communicated.
However, he said he did not ask Jherica where she was going to as he thought that she had some important errands to do.
But Jherica did not go home that night. Her mother got worried when she still didn’t come home three days after.
“Usahay madugay naman siya uli kay tungod adto siya sa iyang barkada. Murag naanad anad napod ko so mao to naabtan nag tulo ka adlaw, di nani mahimo,” Marifel said.
(Sometimes she comes home late because she goes to her friends. I got used to that but when it reached three days, I thought this is not right anymore.)
Around 12:50 a.m. on March 26, Marifel received a chat from Jherica, saying that she had no idea where she was at that time. Right after receiving the message, Marifel tried to reach Jherica but could no longer reach her.
The next day, March 27, she went to the police station to report that her daughter went missing.
According to Marifel, some individuals who claimed to be operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-7) went to their house on March 18 and asked if they know this certain drug personality and it was Jherica who told them about his house.
CDN Digital won’t disclose the name of the drug personality pending investigation.
This drug personality was their neighbor, who was just renting a house nearby. Accordingly, Marifel said there was a time that Jherica was asked by this person to deposit a certain amount to a pawnshop.
PDEA’s name was used
PDEA-7’s director Levi Ortiz, for his part, said that their agency’s name was used in this incident. They are conducting an investigation to verify the information of these involved individuals.
“Wala may report nga naay lakaw ang PDEA ngadtong lugara ug involved ang kadtong ngalana. So negative sa PDEA meaning to say gigamit ang ngalan sa PDEA,” Ortiz said.
(There was no report that PDEA had an operation in that area with that name involved. So PDEA had nothing to do with that and the PDEA name was just used.)
Ortiz added that they have a lot of names or surnames that are included in their watchlist but he could not tell yet if this was the same name that the mother of the victim was referring to. Those included in the watchlist are reports they received that a certain person is engaged in the illegal drug business, but it is still under a case buildup.
Ortiz further added that this is also a common incident in which their agency is being used. In fact, they receive two to three reports per day complaining that members of some families were arrested by PDEA operatives.
This case is alarming, Ortiz said.
Ortiz said that they will be conducting an investigation on why this person or a group perhaps was using the agency’s name. He said once they will be able to identify the person behind this, they will file a Usurpation of Authority complaint.
Involvement in Illegal Drugs
For his part, Police Staff Sergeant Rechie Gilleran, the chief investigator of Consolacion Police Station, said that this certain individual is a drug personality. With this said, they are looking at the possibility that the incident involves drugs.
As of now, Gilleran said that their investigation is still on locating the whereabouts of both the alleged drug personality and Jherica. They are also verifying if this personality was previously arrested for drugs in other neighboring stations.
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