MANILA, Philippines – A Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) regional director – awarded a plaque of merit in September by no less than Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald dela Rosa for successful operations against marijuana plantations – will have to stand trial due to a criminal charge filed against him by a subordinate.
PDEA Cordillera regional director Juvenal Azurin was unable to persuade the Sandiganbayan Third Division to dismiss the case against him.
The 8-page resolution penned by Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang said the graft court junked Azurin’s Motion to Quash. Azurin’s motion challenged the court’s jurisdiction over his case, which involved gravely threatening a subordinate, on the basis of the alleged offense not being connected Azurin’s work duties.
The court, however, said the defendant possessed supervisory authority over Jaime Clave, the PDEA agent who complained about Azurin. Azurin also admitted in a counter-affidavit that he threatened Clave in a phone call on the subject of reassignment, which would thus involve official matters.
Associate Justices Samuel R. Martires and Sarah Jane T. Fernandez concurred with the decision..
In his complaint affidavit Clave said Azurin called him around midnight of November 13, 2013. Azurin accused Clave of tarnishing Azurin’s reputation by making negative reports against him at the PDEA central office. Azurin, then a PDEA Region 2 director, told Clave during the conversation, “Putang-ina mo Clave ha, putang-ina mo Bobot, papatayin kita.” (“Son of a bitch Clave, son of a bitch Bobot, I’ll kill you.)
The complainant said Azurin told him not to show his face at the office. Several days later, Clave said he was transferred as an intelligence officer to Nueva Vizcaya.
While Azurin denited threatening Clave, claiming he only mentioned Clave’s reassignment to another unit, the court gave gave more weight to the prosecution’s argument: That the recital of facts in the information filed clearly noted threatening remarks and these were said in relation to Azurin’s office and position as a superior officer.
“The allegation of the official relationship existing between the accused and private complainant, coupled with averment that the conversation covered ‘office internal matters’ are sufficient factual allegations that tend to show that the accused was acting in discharge of his duties,” the court said. – Rappler.com