2 cops face dismissal over drug charges

By | February 23, 2013

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/22 February)– Two police officers assigned in this city are facing dismissal from service following their alleged involvement in separate illegal drug dealing activities in the area.

Chief Supt. Charles Calima Jr., Region 12 police director, said Friday they are set to conduct summary dismissal proceedings against Senior Police Officer 3 Rey Casamayor and Police Officer 2 Villamor Domingo Jr., who figured in two major buy-bust operations launched by the regional police office and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) – Region 12 in the city in the last two weeks.

He said Casamayor, who is assigned at the city police’s public safety company, was allegedly involved, along with a female drug courier, in a busted drug deal last Feb. 11 conducted by elements of the regional police’s anti-illegal drug task force.

The police official said Casamayor was able to escape and has since gone into hiding.

Calima said Domingo, who is a member of the regional police’s headquarters support group, was arrested by PDEA-12 elements on Wednesday evening in a buy-bust operation near the city’s oval plaza.

“These are unfortunate incidents but they’re also positive developments in terms of the cleansing of our ranks,” Calima said.

Aileen Lovitos, PDEA Region 12 director, said they had been monitoring the movements of Domingo based on an earlier tip regarding his supposed involvement in the rampant illegal drug trade in the city.

She said they arrested Domingo along Jose P. Laurel Street here at past 8 p.m. on Wednesday after he allegedly sold a sachet of suspected metamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu to an anti-drug agent who was posing as buyer.

Two other alleged cohorts of Domingo, who were identified as Edzmar Abil and Medzar Hadjirul, were arrested near the area in another buy-bust operation, she said.

Lovitos said the suspects tried to escape by running towards the Mindanao State University high school compound and then engaged the PDEA agents and responding policemen in a shootout but were later forced to give up.

She said Abil and a PDEA agent, whose identity was withheld for security reasons, were wounded during the shootout.

Hadjirul, who was carrying an identification card supposedly detailing him as a confidential agent of the intelligence community, yielded a MAC caliber .45 handgun, a fan knife and an undetermined value of repacked shabu, she said.

Lovitos said they are set to file frustrated murder and direct assault charges as well as for violation of the election gun ban and Sections 5 and 26 of Republic Act (RA) 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 against the suspects.

Section 5 of RA 9165 provided the penalties for the “sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation” of illegal drugs while Section 26 cited sanctions for “any attempt or conspiracy” in the selling or trading of illegal drugs.

Meantime, Calima said that aside from Casamayor and Domingo, the regional police intelligence and investigation division has listed 11 other active policemen in Region 12 as allegedly involved in illegal drug activities.

Region 12, which is also known as the Soccsksargen Region, comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and North Cotabato as well as the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

“They’re now subjects of our investigation and other related operation. We’re hoping to gather enough evidences against them soon so we can also pin them down,” he said. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)