Ombudsman junks raps vs 4 cops in 2016 Payatas anti-drug operation | Inquirer News

Ombudsman junks raps vs 4 cops in 2016 Payatas anti-drug operation

/ 09:38 PM July 20, 2023

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File photo of the Office of the Ombudsman. INQUIRER/NIÑO JESUS ORBETA


MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman has dismissed murder, frustrated murder, robbery, and planting of evidence charges against four police officers involved in a 2016 anti-drug operation in Quezon City where one of the suspects played dead to escape.


In a resolution approved by Ombudsman Samuel Martires last June 5, the Office of the Ombudsman sided with the four officers — Police S/Insp. Emil Garcia, Police Officer 3 Allan Formilleza, PO1 James Aggarao and PO1 Melchor Navisaga, all of the Quezon City Police District who conducted an anti-drug operation in Barangay Payatas.

According to the Office of the Ombudsman, the burden of proof rests on the complainants, which in this case are the relatives of the alleged drug traders who died during the operation, and Efren Morillo, who survived the operation despite being shot. 

However, the Office of the Ombudsman said the complainants failed to provide sufficient evidence to merit a case against the officers.

 It also noted that the deaths, while unfortunate, were part of the operation and are justifiable.

“The Office opines that the respondents were able to establish they were conducting a legitimate police operation during the anti-illegal drug operation.  This is clear from the documents submitted by the respondents.  It is unfortunate, however, that the police operation resulted in deaths,” the 10-page resolution read.

“In any case, acting in the fulfillment of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right or office — as what the respondents did during the legitimate police operation — is a justifying circumstance under Article 11 of the RPC (Revised Penal Code),” it added.


It was also noted that the testimony of Morillo is considered suspect since he was the subject of the operation.  Moreover, the two witnesses presented by the complainants apparently did not personally see what transpired during the operation.

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TAGS: Drugs, Ombudsman, Quezon City

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