Militants want probe on Talomo police chief’s ‘conflict of interest’

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 25 August)—Supt. Dionisio Abude, Talomo police station chief, allegedly owns a security agency that provides private guards for the Le Jardin de Villa Abrilles subdivision project, a militant leader said Friday.

Joel Virador, Bayan Muna- Southern Mindanao vice president, claimed the masked armed men in civilian clothes that figured in the commotion with residents of Bariquit compound in Bugac, Ma-a district were hired from Abude’s security agency.

Virador challenged Abude to identify those hooded armed men.

On Friday morning, residents formed a human barricade in front of a backhoe to stop the fencing operations for the Le Jardin project, which is pursued by Filinvest Land, Inc.

Sheena Duazo, secretary general of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Southern Mindanao, said there were men in plain clothes present at the area of commotion believed to be hired “goons” of Villa Abrille.

She said some 20 policemen from the Talomo station coercively dispersed the human barricade of the residents and their supporters.

The policemen were there not to protect the people, but to protect the interest of the Villa Abrille project, she lamented.

Duazo said the residents questioned Abude’s credibility because he seemed to be protecting the private guards.

The residents had been asking Abude to check on those guards if they were armed, especially that the city is implementing a gun ban, but they never saw him doing it, she added.

Ariel Casilao, of Karapatan Southern Mindanao, also said there is connivance between Abude’s alleged security agency and the Talomo police to protect the Villa Abrille property.

But in an interview, Abude said he is willing to be investigated and challenged Virador to retract his allegations if the results would show the police officer’s innocence.

Abude admitted his wife owns the Makabayan Security Agency since 1998, but none of the Villa Abrille’s guards were hired from it.

“I don’t have a capital in that business. I would rather resign from my position if I am doing something wrong because I am a man of principle,” he said.

Abude noted that he was not biased to any side, citing that he had filed complaints against 11 guards for attempted homicide, grave threat and illegal discharge of firearm.

Malou Lopez of the Villa Abrille office could not be immediately reached for comments as she was out of town.

Land still under litigation

The residents affected by the subdivision project maintain the position that the land is still under litigation.

Antonina Bariquit, a resident, said that pending a final legal decision, there should be no operation whatsoever in the area.

Abude said he sent a letter to Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio in April to intervene and order a stop to any operation while the issues of both parties have not been threshed out to avoid untoward incidents.

During Friday’s barricade, police reportedly arrested Joselito Lagon Jr., 23, Michael Lim, 21, and Johnny Urbina, 24, all members of Anakbayan.

Lagon told MindaNews that while they were taking a video of the dispersal, they were arrested and beaten up by some policemen, whom they could not identify as they were not wearing nameplates.

Senior Insp. Aldren Quinto Juaneza, Talomo police station deputy commander, said they were charged with physical injury, malicious mischief, disobedience to a person in authority, obstruction of justice, direct assault, and resisting arrest.

He denied the policemen were not wearing nameplates.

“I wouldn’t order their arrest if they did not harass the backhoe operator and obstructed the fencing operation,” Juaneza said.

Wyrlo Enero, 19, was also detained later after joining the leaders of progressive groups in attempting to rescue the three arrested activists.

Militant groups called for the prosecution of the police officers who allegedly committed injustices against them.

Legal fencing permit

Juaneza said that the government had issued a fencing permit to the developer, Filinvest Land.

The fencing permit was also legal, according to acting city building official Jaime Adalin, who initiated separate dialogues with the residents and the developer after an earlier commotion last August 8.  (Lorie Ann A. Cascaro/MindaNews)