‘I am a staff of Inday Sara.’ Then Davao info chief, who went scot-free, allegedly told PDEA raiders
DAVAO CITY––As members of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) swooped down Saturday on a beach party at a resort in Mabini, Davao de Oro, Jefry Tupas, then city information chief, allegedly approached them and introduced herself as a local government employee.
“I was near Jefry Tupas when the arrest happened. She said, ‘Sir, I am a staff of Inday Sara. What is happening here, sir?’” one of those detained after the raid recalled during an interview Tuesday with online news outlet Newsline Philippines.
Could this be why Tupas went scot-free?
During the interview by Newsline’s Editha Caduaya, the detainees took issue with the fact that many of them were in the beach party, but several were allowed to do a vanishing act, leaving only 17 to be arrested and charged for possession of illegal drugs worth around P1.5 million.
The illegal substances recovered from the suspects include suspected party drugs, shabu, LSD, and marijuana.
The drug raid became more controversial after Tupas was reported to have been involved in the incident.
“During the raid, we were instructed to lay flat on the ground. And then they started looking for Jef Tupas. After that, Jef disappeared,” one of those arrested said.
They continued to narrate that the law enforcement agents proceeded by looking for Tupas’ boyfriend, and both were whisked off.
Pressed if Tupas and her boyfriend had disappeared, the suspects got agitated and said more than two persons were allowed to go.
They added that the law enforcement agents had a logbook and were cross-referencing names from it. The partygoers were herded into several groups.
While the cross-referencing was happening, the detainees were told that they should not worry because they were just “visitors” and that the names they were calling were the “main targets.”
“We did not expect that they were allowed to escape,” a detainee claimed.
They said most of them were asked to wait in the field while another group was brought to a room.
One of the accusations by the detainees was that the illegal drugs presented and documented were seized from the group of Tupas.
The detainees were referring to the photograph released by PDEA showing the suspects seated in a semicircle with the captured illegal substances laid in front of them.
They added that photos and videos have been circulated and would corroborate their story. However, photos and videos of the actual raid are not available in public social media posts.
What can be retrieved online are photos of Tupas and her friends at the party before the drug raid.
Tupas on Monday evening released a short statement explaining that she, her boyfriend, and a friend left the party early after having dinner. She had not yet answered the allegations.
Mayor Sara Duterte issued a statement Tuesday confirming that Tupas had filed her resignation, the same time that she was informed of being terminated by her employer at the local government.
The PDEA has refused to comment on the accusations, however. They disclosed that 14 of the 17 arrested tested positive for illegal substance consumption.
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