No preferential treatment for Sara Duterte’s former info officer

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MANILA – The former chief of the Davao City Information Office (CIO), who was dragged into the November 6 drug raid at a beach resort in Davao de Oro, was not given special treatment by the government, Malacañang said on Thursday.

In an online news briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque denied that the government gave Jefry Tupas, the dismissed information officer of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, preferential treatment after allowing him to leave following the raid.

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

“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.

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

“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.

Approximately PHP1.5 million in party drugs were seized during the operation.

Sara revealed on Tuesday that she had fired Tupas as a result of his involvement in the buy-bust operation.

Prior to Sara’s statement, Tupas confirmed his attendance at the beach party, stating that he was invited as a guest and departed “immediately after dinner with my boyfriend and another friend.”

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

Tupas is not on the list of people who will be arrested, according to Lovitos, but the former Davao CIO will be probed.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.