No special treatment for Sara Duterte’s ex-info officer

Domestic Affairs

Malacañang on Thursday said the former head of Davao City Information Office (CIO), who was dragged into the November 6 drug raid at a beach resort in Davao de Oro, has not received any preferential treatment from the government.

In an online press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said it was baseless to claim that the government had given Jefry Tupas, sacked information officer of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, preferential treatment after being allowed to leave after the raid.

Roque said Tupas was not a “key personality” in the anti-drug operation conducted by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

“No basis po kasi hindi nga po kasama talaga si Mr. Tupas doon sa raid na iyan (It has no basis because Mr. Tupas was not part of the raid),” he said, when asked to react to claims that Tupas received special treatment after PDEA allegedly let him off the hook.

Roque said PDEA had already clarified that no search warrant or arrest warrant was issued for Tupas.

“Correction lang po. Nagkumpirma po ang PDEA na ‘yung dating information officer ni Mayor Sara ay hindi po kasama doon sa search warrant o di kaya ay sa arrest warrant na in-issue para po dito sa buy-bust operation na ito (Just a correction. The PDEA confirmed that the former information officer of Mayor Sara wasn’t included in the search warrant or arrest warrant issued for the buy-bust operation),” he said.

At least 17 party-goers were arrested when PDEA-11, along with the National Bureau of Investigation and Mabini Municipal Police Station, conducted a buy-bust operation at a beach resort in Pinsdasan village in Mabini, Davao de Oro on Nov. 6.

Around PHP1.5 million worth of party drugs were seized during the raid.

Sara on Tuesday confirmed that she had fired Tupas following his involvement in the buy-bust operation.

Prior to Sara’s statement, Tupas clarified allegations about his presence at the beach party, saying he was invited as a guest and left the vent “right after dinner with my boyfriend and another friend.”

On Wednesday, PDEA-11 regional director Aileen Lovitos denied that there was a “cover-up” in the drug raid.

Lovitos said Tupas was not included in the list of personalities who will be arrested, but stressed that the former Davao CIO will also be investigated.

Source: Philippines News Agency