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PDEG chief Domingo removed from post amid probe on alleged cover-up

Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group (PNP-PDEG) director Police Brigadier General Narciso Domingo was removed from his post amid the ongoing investigation on the alleged cover-up in connection with the P6.7-billion drug haul.

This was confirmed by Domingo himself in a message to GMA News Online.

"Effective po kahapon. Papalitan na ako ni [Police Brigadier General Antonio Olaguera]. Floating status na ako (It was effective yesterday. Olaguera will replace me. I am now on floating status)," Domingo said.

In a statement, the PNP on Thursday said Olaguera assumed the post of PDEG director after the filing of leave of absence of Domingo.

Olaguera is the former director of the PNP Legal Service and is a member of the Philippine National Police Academy Class of 1989, the police organization said.

“PNP Chief, Police General Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr. named Police Brig. Gen. Faro Antonio Olaguera as the new Director of the PNP Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG),” the PNP said.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos earlier called on Domingo and nine other police officers to take a leave to give way to the investigation on the alleged attempted cover-up in the series of operations that netted P6.7 billion worth of shabu in October last year.

Abalos launched a probe led by the National Police Commission into the illegal drug case of now-dismissed Police Master Sergeant Rodolfo Mayo Jr. involving 990 kilograms of confiscated shabu.

Abalos said Napolcom’s fact-finding panel was convened due to the supposed slow pace of the police investigation into Mayo’s case.

According to him, Napolcom's investigation showed that “there is indeed a massive attempt to cover-up the arrest of Mayo.”

Domingo denied any attempted cover-up.

“We assure you that that there was no attempted cover-up here, kung 'yun po ang iniisip ng karamihan na ang  PDEG kami ay nag-cover up sa maling pinaggagawa ng mga tao namin,” he said at a press briefing on Wednesday.

(We assure you that there was no attempted cover-up here, if most people think that PDEG is covering up for the faults of its personnel.)

Domingo expressed dismay that they were dragged into the case when they were just doing their job, noting that their group had led the biggest drug haul in the police force.

“Let me express my dismay that this is being unfair on the part of those of us who just did our mandate and just did our fight against illegal drugs trade,” he said.

Meanwhile, Domingo said that he is now preparing for the Senate investigation as he sees it as a good opportunity to clear his name.

“Wala naman tayo tinatago talaga sa presentation ko last Monday dokumentado lahat ang pinagsasabi natin doon. Handa po ipakita sa lahat ng investigations,” he said, adding he has evidence to prove that they were not involved in the cover-up.

(We are not hiding anything; during my presentation last Monday, all the things I said were documented. They are ready to be presented in all investigations.) 

However, Domingo said he feels sad about how his family is affected by the issue.

“Parang kinukutya na yung mga anak ko e, ng mga kakilala nila e, na drug protector ang tatay nila. Mabigat po syempre, walang kaalam alam yung mga bata tapos biglang pagtatawanan ng mga classmates niya, so iba po ang impact nun sa bata,” he said in Jun Veneracion's report on "24 Oras." 

(My kids seem to be made fun of by their acquaintances since their dad is allegedly a drug protector. It obviously weighs a lot; the kids had no idea, and then all of a sudden their classmates start making fun of them, so it affects the child differently.) 

Mayo was arrested in October 2022 during a series of operations where authorities seized some 990 kilograms of suspected shabu worth approximately P6.7 billion.

Mayo was an intelligence officer for the PDEG, based on police records. —with Sherylin Untalan/KBK/RSJ/VBL, GMA Integrated News