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UPDATED: 8 cops relieved 

  • DCPO open to probe over anti-drug ops deaths


By Rhoda Grace B. Saron 


THE DAVAO City Police Office (DCPO) has relieved eight police officers following the deadly buy-busts that killed seven since March 22 in the wake of Mayor Sebastian Duterte’s threats for criminals to leave or lose their lives. 

DCPO spokesperson Captain Hazel Tuazon said the move to relieve the eight law enforcers involved in different anti-drug operations was to comply with PNP Chief Benjamin Acorda’s directives.

“The DCPO is open for any investigation,” Tuazon said. “We always follow orders from PNP’s higher office.”

Tuazon clarified that there was no directive to shoot down suspects. For instance, the operations that killed two came before the mayor’s warning.

According to DCPO data, there were more buy-bust operations leading to arrests than fatalities from March 22 to 26. 

For instance, during the same five-day span, police arrested 17 individuals from 21 buy-bust operations. While resistance led to deaths, it was only because the suspects tried to shoot the arresting officers, Tuazon said. 

She also said the DCPO filed 22 cases with the prosecutor’s office against the arrested suspects. 

Authorities seized a significant amount of illegal drugs, including 242.64 grams of shabu and 60.36 grams of marijuana for a total estimated street value of P1,385,195.20.

Meanwhile, she said Duterte’s message at the March 22 turnover ceremony at DCPO grounds underscored the collaboration needed to combat drug activity. The chief executive urged barangay captains to organize their communities and assist the police in their efforts against illegal drugs. 

The mayor highlighted the importance of citizen complaints and information sharing in identifying drug hotspots and perpetrators.

Colonel Richard Bad-ang, the new DCPO director, emphasized a renewed focus on disrupting the drug supply chain by targeting high-level suppliers and smugglers. He highlighted collaboration with barangay leaders and intelligence gathering as key aspects of their strategy.  

Also, Bad-ang assured that all operations will be conducted within the bounds of the law.

Similarly, PDEA XI Plans and Operations Division chief Hazel Mandanao said they support the mayor’s campaign against illegal drugs, “but in a lawful manner.”


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