Negros Oriental judge finds 5 PDEA agents guilty of indirect contempt of court for ‘fake’ buy-bust
BACOLOD CITY –– A judge in Negros Oriental has found five agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) guilty of indirect contempt of court in connection with an alleged fake buy-bust operation in Barangay Looc, Dumaguete City.
Judge Amelia Lourdes Mendoza of the Regional Trial Court Branch 34 sentenced PDEA agents Nelson Muchuelas, May Ann Carmelo, Jose Anthony Juanites, Cheryl Mae Villaver, and Realyn Pinpin to six months imprisonment at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Dumaguete and to pay P30,000-fine each.
The court has also issued warrants of arrest for the five agents.
However, since the judgment for indirect contempt is subject to review, the judge fixed the bond to stay the execution of judgment at P200,000 each on condition that they abide by the judgment, if their appeal is decided against them.
The court concluded that the PDEA agents arrested five drug suspects in separate places and not in a single buy-bust operation on June 28, 2020. The drug charges against the five agents were dismissed in October.
“The court wants to emphasize that the basis for the indirect contempt charges arises from the fact that the official narrative of the arrests as contained in the affidavits, photographs, and other attachments to the complaint, has been unmasked as false and fake,” the judge said.
The case filed by the PDEA agents against the accused is based on a big lie that the court finds offensive and indicates their contempt for the rule of law, Mendoza said.
“In finding respondents guilty of indirect contempt, the court is of the view that they acted willfully and deliberately to cause injustice to the accused and to degrade the administration of justice, which is abhorrent to the dignity and authority of this court,” she added.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.