Teen retracts; police ask media for help in probe vs. 7 officers
TEENAGE drug suspect Lito Paculanang has retracted allegations that seven intelligence officers received money in exchange for the release of two suspected illegal drug personalities.
Left with no witness, the City Intelligence and Detective Management Branch yesterday turned to the media for help in its investigation of the seven officers.
The intelligence branch of the Cebu City Police Office sent separate letters to the three local dailies, asking for a certification that published articles on Paculanang’s allegations were factual.
Paculanang, who was arrested by police in , in Barangay Duljo-Fatima, Cebu City on Sunday, had alleged that cousins Mervin and Christian Pardillo were released after a “negotiation” with the seven intelligence officers.
He said the Pardillo cousins promised to return and post bail for him.
But in his sworn statement, Paculanang said he was in barangay Duljo-Fatima to buy illegal drugs. The Pardillo cousins and a taxi driver were in the area when the police arrived.
Paculanang said they were all brought to the City Intelligence Branch (CIB) office. But the three others were released after police found no evidence to indict them of illegal drug offense.
“I remained because it was only me who was found to have possesion of shabu,” he stated in his affidavit.
Senior Supt. Rey Lyndon Lawas, deputy regional director for operations of the Police Regional Office Central Visayas (PRO-7), said they will investigate whether Paculanang might have been threatened into retracting his statements.
The seven police officers, who have been relieved of their posts and disarmed pending an investigation, were identified as PO3 Robert Escarlan and Roy Cavalida;
PO2 Arnulfo Reglamos, Dennis Mosqueda and Manuel Paez III; and PO1 Perceival Eborlas and Ansar Madtahil.
Members of the media learned about the alleged release of the Pardillo cousins because of an anonymous text message alleging the Pardillo cousins paid P75,000 each for their release.
Supt. Artemio Ricabo, deputy city director for administration of CCPO, said the anonymous text message does not hold water. He said it could just be part of a black propaganda against the police.
Senior Supt. Benjamin Santos Jr., acting director of the Cebu City Provincial Police Office (CCPO), said in a press briefing that he has already directed his investigators to fast-track the case.
“We request the regional unit for a parallel investigation to prevent doubts or bias on the case,” he said.
Asked about Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama’s demand to dismiss the seven policemen, Santos said they also deserve to undergo due process.
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