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PDEA execs summoned to Iloilo drug mess probe

February 26, 2009 3:01pm

MANILA, Philippines - Top officials of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) have been summoned to attend a congressional hearing next week on Iloilo City's version of the "Alabang Boys" scandal.

Online news site The News Today (www.thenewstoday.info) reported that officials of the Iloilo Provincial Prosecutor's Office were also summoned to the hearing on March 5.

At least eight lawmakers will also attend the investigation of the “Balasan Boys" controversy, which involves the alleged link of local prosecutors to the drug trade.

The report said PDEA head Dionisio Santiago will be among the officials present at the hearing pushed by Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr.

The scandal stemmed from complaints by provincial police that their hard work of arresting drug dealers had gone down the drain because the suspects would be entitled to bail.

On the other hand, the names of two provincial prosecutors were scrawled on a piece of paper found in the wallet of a suspected drug personality in the province.

Last January, Iloilo governor Niel Tupas reportedly ordered the withdrawal of the province's subsidy to provincial prosecutors, claiming they unjustly dismissed cases against suspected drug pushers.

Provincial administrator Manuel Mejorada said Tupas received complaints from police chiefs of the province over the dismissal of complaints against the suspected drug pushers after policemen arrested the suspects.

Among the cases highlighted during the conference were those filed against Henry Caspillo and Rolly Tiope in Balasan town in Iloilo.

Mejorada said that Caspillo was arrested in June last year after a buy-bust operation and subsequent raid on a drug den that the suspect was allegedly operating.

But he said the policemen who worked on the case were surprised when prosecutors dismissed the complaint related to the non-bailable offenses for which Caspillo was charged and allowed him to post bail.

He said the same concern was also raised on the dismissal of the complaint against Tiope who was arrested twice for alleged drug pushing or possession of illegal drugs.

Dusaban said prosecutors dismissed the buy-bust complaint case against Caspillo but filed the illegal possession of firearms case based on the evidence presented and on court rules. They have also filed the case against Tiope. - GMANews.TV
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