PDEA mum on Jefry Tupas presence in drug party


Posted at Nov 10 2021 10:42 AM

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MANILA – A Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency official on Wednesday refused to comment on the presence of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte's ex-spokesperson Jefry Tupas in a beach party that was the subject of a drug raid last Saturday. 

“Ms. Tupas has already issued [her] statement. She posted that on social media. We cannot really comment on it,” PDEA Region 11 Director Aileen Lovitos said when asked if Tupas was in the area where the operation was conducted.

Around P1.5 million worth of suspected party drugs, shabu and marijuana were seized during the anti-drug operation at a beach resort in Mabini, Davao de Oro last Saturday. 

Tupas earlier confirmed attending the party but said she left early as she had work the next day. “I was there. I left early with my boyfriend and another friend," Tupas told ABS-CBN News.

The office of the city mayor later said Tupas had been fired. "Last Sunday, Jefry signified his resignation and on the same moment [she] was informed that [she] is terminated from work with the City Government of Davao," Duterte-Carpio's office said. 

Duterte-Carpio's office said "details of the raid are known only to the PDEA officers in Davao de Oro and Ms. Tupas."

Duterte-Carpio's father, President Rodrigo Duterte, has been waging a massive war against illegal drugs since coming to power in 2016.

In the interview, Lovitos was also asked to comment on a NewsLine Philippines report that said Tupas and other partygoers were allowed to leave the resort during the raid.

She replied: "Precisely, Mike this is a planned operation. We know our targets in the anti-drug operation. When you say it’s a buy-bust operation that is a planned operation. So pag ganyan po, alam ng operatives kung sino po yung kanilang subject of the operation.”

She added, “That’s the stand of PDEA, that indeed we have 17 drug personalities which are subject of our anti-drug operation.”

In the interview, Lovitos said targets of the anti-drug operation where some P1.5-million worth of party drugs and marijuana were nabbed have been under surveillance for a long time. 

“The subject of the operation--Revsan Elizalde was the subject of the operation along with the others--they have been of course prior to the conduct of our operation, yung ating buy-bust which is a planned operation, we conducted already intense surveillance operation,” said.

“Because these drug personalities are really in our list and of course, together with other law enforcement agencies he has been our targets for quite sometime already,” she added.

Lovitos explained that their counterparts in other regions have also been keeping an eye on these persons as they have been going around Mindanao for their pot sessions.

“Even other regions, the PDEA other regions are looking for this drug personality because they have been going around Mindanao, the resorts and they’re doing, you know nagpa-pot session sila doing their illegal drug activities,” she said.

“Davao de Oro, it’s a different province, Mike, hindi po siya Davao City,” Lovitos explained. “It’s a different province. Davao City has really a strict control of implementation of IATF protocols that is why palipat-lipat sila ng places where they hold their illegal drug activities.”

--ANC, 10 November 2021