MANILA, Philippines – The special investigation task group (SITG) probing the P6.5-billion shabu mess involving the Philippine National Police (PNP) revealed the discrepancy in the information about former cop Rodolfo Mayo Jr.’s arrest in October 2022.
National Police Commission (Napolcom) and SITG vice chairperson Alberto Bernardo presented a set of closed circuit television (CCTV) footage detailing the events that happened during Mayo’s arrest – the cop who was nabbed with almost one ton of suspected shabu. Bernardo produced a CCTV footage showing six cops in the scene of operation during the Senate committee on dangerous drugs’ hearing on Tuesday, May 23.
According to the Napolcom vice chairperson, they believe Police Captain Jonathan Sosongco, the arresting team’s head from the PNP Drug Enforcement Group Special Operations Unit Calabarzon (PDEG SOU), is spotted in the video. But aside from him, five other cops from his PDEG unit were also seen:
- Police Master Sergeant Carlo Bayeta
- Patrolman Rommar Bugarin
- Patrolman Hustin Peter Gular
- Patrolman Hassan Kalaw
- Patrolman Dennis Carolino
Bernardo also revealed that Mayo was held by cops from 1:39 pm to 7:45 pm on the day of his arrest, adding that the suspected cop was arrested by the police force before 1:39 pm on October 8, 2022. The SITG report also revealed that Mayo was escorted to and from the scene of operation at least three times between 1:39 pm and 7:45 pm.
This means there was a discrepancy about the initial details of operation because the PDEG said they swooped in at the scene of operation at around 4:45 pm, which led to Ney Atadero’s arrest – and then later, Mayo.
Bernardo also claimed that Atadero was not really arrested by cops that day, contrary to police report.
During the hearing, Bernardo also pointed out the changes on how Mayo had been handcuffed on the day of his arrest. The SITG vice chairperson said at 7:45 pm, Mayo had been cuffed with hands in front. But prior to that, he was handcuffed with his hands behind him.
Bernardo also shared footage showing how the suspected illegal drugs were transported out from the scene using two vehicles. Another video showed men taking out the suspected drugs from the scene of operation using handheld bags.
During Tuesday’s hearing, senators cited Mayo in contempt, including his former supervisor, Police Lieutenant Colonel Arnulfo Ibañez.
Later on, the lawmakers also cited in contempt Bayeta, Bugarin, Gular, Kalaw, and Carolino.
Sosongco said his fellow cops from PDEG SOU Calabarzon also took part in Mayo’s arrest. However, the five cops denied the allegations. When asked where they were on the day Mayo was arrested, the cops also refused to answer by invoking their right to remain silent.
The Calabarzon cops said they stayed in Recto Avenue on the day Mayo was arrested, adding that they arrested Atadero, and not Mayo. However, the CCTV footage from the SITG showed they were with Sosongco when Mayo was being held by the cops. – Rappler.com