Drug raid: Couple fights back, sues 20 PDEA agents for theft
CEBU CITY — At least 20 agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Central Visayas were facing a string of complaints at the Office of the Ombudsman for alleged theft during a drug bust on the house and abaca factory owned by a couple in Mandaue City.
Spouses Jeanette and Leo Malingin asked Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales and the Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices to hold the respondents liable for robbery, extortion, incriminatory machinations, perjury, illegal arrest, arbitrary detention, malicious prosecution, grave misconduct, conduct unbecoming an officer, dishonesty and betrayal of public trust.
The complainants, suppliers of rattan and abaca products in Mandaue City, asked the antigraft office to issue a preventive suspension order against the respondents pending the resolution of the cases.
“We never have the intention to fight back for we are powerless,” said the couple’s letter, dated Nov. 10, to the Ombudsman.
Earl Rallos, PDEA agent, denied the allegations.
Leo, Jeanette and Jeanette’s sister, Menen Cosido, were arrested by the PDEA agents inside their residence in Lower Hermag Village in Barangay Tabok, Mandaue City, at dawn of July 30, 2017.
They were accused of selling and possessing illegal drugs, which the three denied.
Cosido was released 10 hours after the PDEA found that she was not Jeanette, the target of the operation.
Complaints were filed against Leo and Jeanette at the Mandaue City Prosecutor’s Office.
But the prosecutor’s office dismissed the cases against the couple for lack of evidence.
Acting Mandaue Prosecutor Maritess Cullen, however, reversed that decision and ordered charges filed against Leo in court.
Leo is currently detained at the Mandaue City Jail while the cases against him are pending in court.
In a statement, the couple said the PDEA agents barged into their house without a search warrant around 3:45 a.m. on July 30.
Jeanette said the agents pointed a gun at her and ordered her to open the family’s safety vault. She said the agents took pieces of jewelry worth P2 million, personal checks worth P5 million and cash of more than P700,000.
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