A cease and desist petition against the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group has been filed by Abra Represenative Joseph Sto. Niño “JB” Bernos and Governor Maria Jocelyn “Joy” Bernos, with the Commission on Elections through Chairman Sheriff M. Abas.
The petition seeks to bar the CIDG from further involvement in cases regarding political personalities in Abra even as the CIDG has been conducting investigations on incidents allegedly in support of certain candidates.
The Bernoses are both running for re-election. The Abra congressman’s re-election bid is being challenged by Victoria Seares Corpuz, wife of CIDG acting Director Police Brigadier General Amador V. Corpuz, and Derdrei Roce Luna-Ifurung, daughter of former Rep. Cecilia Seares Luna.
Petitioners in their complaint sheet said that the CIDG has breached protocols in investigation as provided for in the Criminal Investigation Manual of the Philippine National Police. The manual provides that the “police station, which has territorial jurisdiction of the area where the crime incident was committed, shall immediately undertake the necessary investigation and processing of the crime scene, unless otherwise directed by higher authorities for a certain case to be investigated by other units/agency.”
The investigations that were conducted by the CIDG despite investigations already being conducted by the police station with the jurisdiction involved a series of incidents that occurred as early as January 3, 2019 followed by four more incidents on April 18, 23, 26 and 29, 2019.
Based on the filed petition, the first incident that happened on January 3, 2019 was an ambush attack against Brix Aquino Donato, Jayron Martinez and other John Does, residents of BrgyPulot and Collago, Lagayan, Abra. The victims filed a complaint against Fernando C. Blaza Jr. and Rowel Escalante through counsel Estelita Cordero. It was endorsed by the Lagayan, Abra Municipal Police. The CIDG however later filed a case against Donato, Martinez, et al with Blaza and Escalante as complainants.
Another ambush attack happened in Lagayan, Abra that resulted in the death of Jhudges C. Parado. The perpetrators of the attack were led by Brgy. Captain Dominador Cardenas Jr. of Lagayan, Abra, a follower of Congressional candidate Victoria SearesCorpuz.
On April 23, 2019, ABC President Bry Captain Walter T. Tugadi of Brgy. Budac, Tayum, Abra and his companions were ambushed at the instance of a known ally of Victoria SearesCorpuz, Joey Brillantes, a mayoralty candidate.
Meanwhile, a search warrant issued by Honorable Gina Chan was carried out by the police elements of Tayum Police Station on the vehicle abandoned by mayoralty candidate Joey Brillantes. Firearms and ammunitions were found in the vehicle, a clear violation of Section 28 of the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act (R.A. 10591) and of ComelecResolution No. 10446 in relation to Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code.
Another cause for alarm occurred on April 29, 2019 in Barangay Laang, Lagangilang, Abra. Governor Bernos and members of her support group conducted a meeting with constituents from Brgy. Bayaan, Mudiit and Tapping Dolores, Abra. During the meeting, several men wearing blue shirt with CIDG markings arrived in the venue with long firearms. Three SUVs and a pick up truck arrived at the venue. In the respective SUVs were Mayor Robert Seares Jr. who is running for governor; Ronald Seares, who is the mayoralty candidate of Dolores, Abra; and Victoria Sears Corpuz and Ryan Luna. In the pick-up were men with faces half-covered. Those attending the meeting were prevented from leaving the venue.
As narrated in the Bernos’ petition, the CIDG personnel who were present did not intervene. It was Governor Bernos who called for police assistance. The police however frisked and searched the Governor’s companions before they were allowed to leave .With this latest act of harassment, Bernos said he would be filing a case against the Seares group.