Search for killer of PDEA exec launched in Camarines Sur
LEGAZPI CITY – Law enforcement authorities have launched a search for the suspected gunmen of an officer of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), who was found dead in a village in Lupi town, Camarines Sur on Monday.
Christian Frivaldo, director of PDEA in Bicol, said Enrico Barba, assistant provincial officer of PDEA in Camarines Norte, was reported missing around 12 midnight Monday after meeting an informant in Daet town, Camarines Norte regarding illegal drug activities in the area earlier on Sunday evening.
At 10 a.m. Monday, Barba’s body was found in a concrete canal in Barangay Napolidan, a police report said.
Frivaldo said Barba’s hands were tied and his mouth wrapped with packaging tape. Inside the pocket of his shorts, police found a dirtied piece of cardboard with the words “Wag tularan, tulak ako.”
He said Barba suffered several bullet wounds in his body.
“The contusions and head trauma were clear signs that he was tortured before he was gunned down,” he said.
Frivaldo described Barba as a good father to his children and a loving husband to his wife.
He said Barba had his mission fully documented and disclosed to Vidal Bacolod, provincial officer of PDEA in Camarines Norte.
The PDEA chief said police and the National Bureau of Investigation were conducting an investigation on Barba’s death.
“Our regional office will work fully with our counterparts to identify the perpetrators of this cowardly act, which is considered an affront to the anti-drug endeavor of the Bicol region,” he said.
Frivaldo also said they would not let the incident distract from their anti-drug efforts.
He also believed that Barba’s death could be work-related since the victim was reportedly casing illegal drug operations in the province.
He said Barba has also led anti-illegal drug operations in Albay province. /lzb
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