5 more cops held in contempt for withholding Mayo arrest details
MANILA, Philippines — Five more Philippine National Police (PNP) officers were held in contempt for refusing to give details on what transpired on the day of Police Master Sergeant Rodolfo Mayo Jr.’s arrest in connection with the seizure of P6.7 billion worth of crystal meth or shabu.
Cited for contempt were Police Master Sergeant Carlo Bayeta, Patrolmen Hustin Peter Gular, Rommar Bugarin, Hassan Kalaw and Dennis Carolino.
During the Senate committee hearing on public order and dangerous drugs, along with the committees on trade, commerce, and entrepreneurship, Capt. Jonathan Sosongco, head of the PNP’s Drug Enforcement Unit-Special Operations Unit 4-A, said he was with five police officers during the arrest of Mayo last year.
In October 2022, Mayo and Ney Saligumba Atadero were arrested by anti-drug agents in Tondo, Manila.
According to Sosongco, among the five police officers cited in contempt arrested Mayo.
When Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa questioned whether Sosongco’s claim was true, the five police officers replied “no.”
Sen. Jinggoy Estrada then asked them about their whereabouts when Mayo was arrested, but they all refused to answer.
Kalaw said they are vital witnesses of the case, and the court issued a gag order prohibiting them from discussing trial-related material outside the courtroom.
His answer irked dela Rosa, who told them not to use the court to avoid telling the truth.
“Patrolman palang kayo ganun na ang inyong ugali gagamitin niyo ang korte? Masyado niyo ginagamit ang legal na umiwas sa katotohanan. Not in this committee I tell you papunta pa lang kayo nakauwi na ko, kaya wag niyo ko lokohin dito,” he said.
(You have the rank of patrolman, and that’s how you behave. You’re using the court and law to avoid the truth. Not in this committee. I’ve seen everything, so don’t fool me here.)
Dela Rosa repeated Estrada’s question, but all police officers again refused to answer and invoke their rights against self-incrimination.
Bayeta, on the other hand, said they only arrested Atadero, and another team apprehended Mayo.
Estrada then moved to cite Bayeta, Kalaw, Carolino, Bugarin, and Gular in contempt for refusing to answer the questions related to the case, which dela Rosa approved.
Senators also earlier held in contempt National Capital Region Drug Enforcement (DEG) officer-in-charge Lieutenant Colonel Arnulfo Ibañez and Mayo, his subordinate.
Ibañez, Bayeta, Gular,Bugarin, Hassan, Kalaw and Carolino will be detained after the hearing at the Senate detention facility. Mayo is detained at the Metro Manila District Jail since December 2022.