BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan urged combined police operatives, intelligence agents and anti-narcotics personnel to verify and validate the inclusion of politicians, judges and police and military officials involved in the illegal drug trade before formally submitting their classified information to higher authorities to avoid the inclusion of innocent individuals who will be subjected to trial by publicity.
The local chief executive made the appeal to the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Criminal investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) after the inclusion of Judge Antonio Reyes of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 61 or the city’s special anti-drug court in the his of those allegedly involved in the syndicated drug trade in the country, saying that law enforcer must make sure about the veracity of reports reaching them before submitting the list to higher authorities for the consumption of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“We fully support the all-out war of President Duterte against the illegal drug trade in the country but what is important is for concerned agencies involved in intelligence gathering to verify and validate reports on the involvement of city officials, judges, law enforcers and military to the drug trade in order to avoid the inclusion of innocent individuals in the list that will be subsequently divulged by the President, thus, the innocent individuals will then be subjected to trial by publicity,” Domogan stressed.
In 2013, the Regional Advisory Council of the CIDG-CAR which was chaired by the City Mayor passed a resolution requesting the Supreme Court (SC) to dissolve the city’s anti-drug court and that drug cases that will be filed should be raffled to the different courts in the city.
However, Domogan disclosed the SC never acted on the request for over three years now for still unknown reasons until the controversy on the alleged involvement of Judge Reyes to the illegal drug trade in the city based on the list of officials linked to the lucrative trade announced by President Duterte last Sunday.
According to him, there is nothing wrong on the anti-drug campaign of the present administration because the exposure of the youth to illegal drugs will definitely compromise their bright future but law enforcers must take the appropriate precautions in order to avoid the involvement of innocent individuals in their future operations.
He emphasized the importance of having validated and verified information on the state of the city’s drug problem in the city so that future operations of combined police operatives and anti-narcotics agents will not be subject to criticism once innocent civilians will be caught in the crossfire.
Domogan appealed to those involved in the drug trade to voluntarily surrender to the barangay officials and the concerned law enforcers to avoid the inclusion of innocent individuals in their operations that might cast doubts among the people on the quality of information being brought to the attention of the operatives./By Dexter A. See