BATANGAS -- A municipal mayor of a town in Batangas and his father, who was also a former mayor, are now facing multiple charges after allegedly assaulting two police officers and provincial guards in Batangas City last September 20.
Batangas police director Sr. Supt. Omega Jireh Fidel said the cases were formally filed against Taysan Mayor Victor "Dondon" Portugal, his father former Mayor Victor Portugal Sr. and 20 others.
Fidel said the Portugals and their alleged private army are facing charges of robbery in band, qualified direct assault, grave threat and illegal detention filed separately by complainants PO1 Warren Argana and PO1 Jerico De Ocampo at the Batangas Provincial Prosecutor's Office on Monday.
The cases filed stemmed from an incident that transpired last September 20 at MAPTAN’s motor pool in Barangay Pallocan East when the Portugals and their men allegedly manhandled, detained and disarmed the two police officers and members of the Task Force Likas Yaman, the provincial government's environment and natural resources monitoring group.
Fidel said the group was conducting an Anti-Illegal Mining and Quarrying Operations at Barangay Sto. Nino, Taysan when they apprehended five dump trucks loaded with mineral or quarry materials owned by MAPTAN Corp.
The task force said the MAPTAN Corp, apparently owned by the Portugals, were traveling without the necessary transport permits required by the mining law or Republic Act 7942.
"After their documentation at Taysan municipal police station and while en route to the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office at the Batangas Capitol, our men, together with 6 members of Task Force Likas Yaman were flagged down by armed security personnel of Mayor Portugal upon reaching Barangay Gulod Ibaba in Batangas City," Fidel narrated.
He said members of the task group were ordered to proceed to MAPTAN’s motor pool.
"While inside the motor pool, they were ordered to disembark from their vehicles and their issued firearms were forcibly taken," he added.
Investigations revealed that task force member Juvy Fabicon was hit in the head and kicked in the stomach by Mayor Portugal while Roberto Miagao was hit on the left shoulder by the former mayor.
However, through the intervention of Taysan police chief Sr. Insp. Simeon Aldovino, the Portugals eventually released the police and provincial guards with their firearms after an hour of negotiations.
Asked what was the demand of the Portugals in releasing the law enforcers, Fidel said: "Mag-quits na lang daw sila, i-rerelease lang nila yung mga tao pag hindi i-impound yung mga truck nila."
Fidel, however, relieved Aldovino as Taysan police chief after the incident for heeding Portugal's demand.
A certain PO2 Ferdinand Pasahul is likewise being investigated after he was seen among Portugals' armed men during the standoff.
Included in the formal complaint are 20 John Does believed to be members of the Portugals' security team.
ABS-CBN News tried to get the side of the Portugals but failed.