The Criminal Investigation Criminal and Detection (CIDG) Bohol-Field Unit (BFU) has denied allegations of irregularity and breach of protocols during raids which led to the arrests of Barangay Councilor Carmilo Tabada and Pastor Nathaniel Vallente over gun charges last week.
According to CIDG-BFU chief Lt. Col. Saturnino Estigoy, they were armed with a court-issued search warrants when they entered the residences of Tabada in Trinidad and Vallente in Mabini.
The operations on June 25 allegedly yielded loose firearms and grenades leading to the apprehension of both men who were tagged by authorities as supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA).
Estigoy also denied claims from the camps of both men that there were no witnesses from the media and barangay hall when the operation was carried out.
“Hindi po totoo yun. Sila kasi wala sila doon nung operation, kami ang nag-operate,” said Estigoy.
In an interview over station dyRD’s “Inyong Alagad” program on Monday, Maricel Tabada, the niece of Carmilo, condemned the police operation saying that the firearms and grenade allegedly found by the operatives were planted.
Maricel said Carmilo’s family pleaded to the police to wait for barangay officials to arrive and observe the search but the operatives “forcibly” entered the house without waiting for the witnesses.
According to Estigoy, they will answer the allegations of evidence planting in court.
“Naisampa na po yan sa korte, doon nalang din kami sasagot,” said Estigoy.
Estigoy noted that the information on the alleged ties with the NPA were gathered through confidential informants and witnesses.
The CIDG placed both men under surveillance “for months,” he added.
Tabada and Vallente were arrested in successive raids by a composite team of various police units and the Philippine Army on June 25.
Authorities allegedly found one .45-caliber pistol and its live ammunition, one grenade, and subversive documents were found in Tabada’s house in Barangay Poblacion.
Meanwhile, the search at Vallente’s residence in Barangay San Jose allegedly yielded 4 .45 caliber pistols, 4 magazines for the firearm, live ammunition, and empty bullets.
Operatives also allegedly found a hand grenade and a bag which contained subversive documents. (R. Tutas)