PDEA-7 denies Punta Princesa robbery suspect is their asset
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas or PDEA-7, denied the claims of an alleged robbery suspect that he is one of their assets.
Leia Alcantara, PDEA-7 spokesperson, told reporters on Thursday, August 3, 2023, that there is no record of the individual working for the agency.
The person she is referring to is 43-year-old Jezer Setosta Banzon, one of the alleged suspects who stole a man’s bag in Barangay Punta Princesa, Cebu City on Saturday, July 30.
The police received a report that Banzon allegedly introduced himself as an asset of PDEA-7 before robbing his victims.
“I want to clarify…wala mi kaila ato niya. Gishare to nako ang picture sa mga agent nato wala gyud sila kaila ato. Mismo ako wa pa ko kita ato niyang tawhana. So in no way is he related to the agency or any of our personnel,” she said.
Alcantara said that they are willing to help the police in catching the suspect who is pretending to be a PDEA agent.
“Ma-assure mi ana sa public, kung naay kinahanglan nga tabang ang PNP sa PDEA para madakpan to siya, we are very willing to cooperate,” she said.
Alcantara disclosed that this is not the first time that this happened and that they have received numerous complaints about alleged agents stealing from innocent individuals.
In relation to this, she advised the public to always verify first the identity of these individuals who claim to work for the agency in order to not fall for their trap.
“Usa pud ni sa pahimanglo nato sa atong mga kaisugonan nga when dealing with individuals claiming to be agents of PDEA-7, i-verify sa nila ang identity. Pwede ra man sila motawag diri sa office kung mangutana kung agent ba gyud ni, personnel ba gyud ni sa PDEA,”she said.
Meanwhile, personnel from the Labangon Police Station continue to look for Banzon and his girlfriend after the suspects staged a robbery in Barangay Punta Princesa, Cebu City on Sunday, July 30, 2023.
The couple allegedly robbed a man who was walking in the street outside the Enriquez Compound.
The victim was identified as Brian Oquias Labrador, a staff builder, and a resident of the area.
Based on the police report, the victim said that he was on his way home after failing to have his tooth extracted at a dental clinic when the incident happened.
Labrador told police that out of nowhere, the suspects approached him, searched him, took his bag, and fled on a motorcycle. The male robber also introduced himself as a PDEA-7 agent.
Stolen were the victim’s bag containing P4,900 cash and his cellphone.
Police Major Angelito Valleser, chief of Labangon Police Station 10, identified the riding-in-tandem suspects as Jezer Setosta Banzon, 43, and his girlfriend “Ericka.”
According to Vellaser, they were able to identify the victim due to CCTV footage of them in the area which was uploaded online by Punta Princesa barangay captain Eleno Andales Jr.
He added that some individuals also came to the station to relay information about the robbers including a collector of a motorcycle dealer who recognized the motorcycle used by the suspects.
He added that the collector also gave police a picture of Banzon’s motorcycle.
“Ang kini nga suspect mam na identify ni kay ilado pud ni sa diri mam kay maldito-maldito man kunohay ni. Then ang usa gyud nga naka-ila ani mam kay naa man mi amigo nga collector sa motor og nakaila sa motor nga iyang gigamit ug kanang kuan na-identify pud siya sa collector,” according to Valleser.
While the female back rider was identified by police officers because of the numerous times she went to the station to visit her boyfriend who was imprisoned because of illegal drugs.
Police Corporal Argie Goopio, desk officer at the Labangon Police Station, said that the case against the alleged suspects is yet to be filed and the two remain at large.
He added that they will continue to hunt down the suspects. /rcg
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