Family of Barrios brothers says Iloilo cops planted evidence during raid
MANILA, Philippines – The family of Staff Sergeant Jeffrey Barrios of the Philippine Army’s 301st Brigade and his brother Neptalie has made public a CCTV footage accusing the Iloilo police of illegally raiding their house and planting evidence.
Nelly, the wife of Jeffrey, said her husband is currently under restrictive custody of the military while Neptalie is under detention. They are facing cases for illegal possession of firearms and explosives after the police seized two .38 revolvers, a .9mm pistol, a rifle sub-machine gun, a grenade, ammunition, and magazines.
The police conducted the raid last August 12, following a strafing incident in Barangay Braulan, San Enrique, Iloilo last July 30. The police said there are witnesses identifying the Barrios brothers as the suspect.
Here is the timeline of the raid conducted by the police based on the CCTV footage at the house of the Barrios family:
- 4:27 a.m.: The police arrived at Barrios’ house. Based on the footage outside, one of the residents is asking where is the search warrant while the other members of the household were ordered to sit outside.
- CCTV footage inside the house showed two heavily armed men in uniform entering the house while one went upstairs.
- 7:31 a.m.: Barangay Captain Alejandro Aquino arrived at the house of the Barrios brothers.
“Gusto po namin magpa imbestiga. Hihingi po kami ng tulong sa Kongreso at Senado,” Nelly Barrios said in a phone interview.
(We would like to request an investigation. We will be seeking assistance from the Congress [House] and Senate.)
In a statement, the police denied the allegations, saying the raid was “legally and properly done.”
“As your IPPO Director, I am confident that all rules were observed and the searches were done with propriety by the operating units,” Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) Director Col. Ronaldo Palomo said in a statement Thursday.
He said the extraction of the people from the house of the Barrios brothers prior to the actual search “was done to ensure that nobody would be caught in a crossfire should there be a firefight, knowing that the subjects of the raid were armed and dangerous.”
“It is to clear the area from any danger for everyone to be safe during and after the search because it is the basic duty of the police to prioritize the safety and security of everyone during police operations,” he said.
He added that aside from the Barangay Captain (Village chief), the raid was also witnessed by Barangay Kagawad (Village counselor) Ingracio Siason, Prosecutor Hadji Ortgar Hidlao, and the occupants of the house.
On allegations of planted evidence, Palomo said, “in truth and in fact, there is no footage that can back up that claim. It is impossible to carry such items without being noticed, more so before the eyes of the witnessing prosecutor and barangay officials.”
He said the CCTV footage was spliced to destroy the credibility of the police.
Palomo added that the wife of one of the subjects “freely signed a certificate attesting that the search conducted in their house was done in a peaceful and orderly manner.”