CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency- Northern Mindanao (PDEA-10) Regional Director Wilkins Villanueva accused Misamis Oriental Provincial Jail Warden Dominador Tagarda of being a drug protector after his 2 sons were arrested by PDEA Wednesday, September 18.
Villanueva was fuming mad when he announced the arrests of Tagarda's sons Bon Clinton and Gregor in separate raids in their respective homes in Gumamela Extension street, Carmen this city.
Villanueva said the operations were with a search warrant issued by a local judge and were the result of surveillance operations against the brothers, who were suspected as shabu pushers.
The PDEA confiscated from Bon Clinton in the early Wednesday morning raid 10 grams of a substance believed to be shabu, estimated to be worth P68,000.
Seized from Gregor's home were 15 grams of a similar substance illegal drugs, with a street value of about P102,000.
Villanueva was fuming as he talked to the press immediately after the raids. His anger was aimed Tagarda.
"To the father of these two arrested personalities, I emphatized with you and I know how you feel being in the anti-drug enforcement for more than 18 years, but please, stop the drama," Villanueva said.
"All of your nieghbors know that they (Tagarda boys) are peddling illegal drugs. They are on the barangay watchlist. What actions have you done?," Villanueva added.
Villanueva called the older Tagarda a coddler of illegal drugs peddlers because he failed to get his sons to stop their business.
In a separate interview with radio reporters, Dominador denied Villanueva's accusations that he protected his sons. "I had them arrested before with the Carmen police station. I tried to reform them," Dominador told radio reporters from RMN-DXCC, Magnum Radio and Bombo Radyo.
Villanueva said that Dominador should stop portraying his children as victims, "You know who they are, what they are doing, and yet you did nothing," Villanueva said.
Villanueva said that Dominador should resign as warden of the provincial jail because he has lost moral ascendancy to lead.
Dominador for his part said he was not resigning as he was tendered his early retirement as jail warden, having serve for 36 years effective December 31,2019.
Misamis Oriental Governor Yvgency Vincente Emano said that he still trusted Tagarda as warden of the provincial jail.
"His performance as jail warden for 36 eyars has been exceptional. His official capacity is separate and distinct from his private affairs such as what happened to his two sons," Emano said.
"While different sectors hastily call for his resignation due to the supposed conflict of interests, I still believe in the rule of law as well as our Christian virtues – the presumption of innocence and not to abandon those who are in times of need," Emano added.
Emano added that he would uphold and respect whatever decisions Tagarda makes.
Emano also reiterated his stand against illegal drugs "My stand remains strong regardless of whoever is involved, may they be ally or foe. I urge PDEA director Villanueva to furnish me with evidence he has against Tagarda and I will refer this legal matter to the proper office," Emano added.
Emano added that if found guilty he would make sure that cases would be filed against Tagarda including his appointment at the Civil Service Commission with forfeiture of his salary and benefits, "Again, I will uphold the rule of law," Emano said.
Villanueva said it was improbable elder Tagarda was not aware of the activities of his sons, as he even had one of them go into hiding in Gingoog City when word came out of an impending arrest.
“We could have arrested Gregor a long time ago, but apparently he was told by his father to go into hiding in Gingoog,” Villanueva said. – Rappler.com