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VIP treatment claims vs ex-Davao City info officer 'baseless' — Roque

By Sydney Antoinette Alipao

PHOTO: ABS-CBN News

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday addressed the criticisms against the alleged preferential treatment that the former Davao City information officer received in a recent drug raid, saying the claims were "baseless."

Saturday last week, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) conducted a narcotics raid in a beach resort located in Mabini, Davao de Oro in which Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio's former information officer, Jefry Tupas, was attending a party, and seized some P1.5 million worth of marijuana, party drugs, and shabu.

Some of the 17 arrested from the raid told NewsLine Philippines that Tupas and his cohorts were allowed to leave during the raid.

Tupas, on the other hand, confirmed his presence at the party but said that he left before the raid took place.

According to Roque, Tupas is not a key personality in the drug raid and is not in the issued search warrant nor arrest warrant.

"Correction lang po 'no, nakumpirma po ng PDEA na 'yung dating information officer ni Mayor Sara ay hindi po kasama roon sa search warrant or kaya roon sa arrest warrant na inissue para rito sa buy-bust operation na ito," said Roque. 

"No basis po, kaso hindi nga po kasama talaga si Tupas doon sa raid na 'yon," he added.

PDEA Chief Wilkins Villanueva also confirmed the exclusion of Tupas from the key personalities targeted by the raid.

Furthermore, Tupas was fired by Duterte-Carpio on Sunday just a few hours before she withdrew her certificate of candidacy (COC)  for mayoral re-election.