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Paracale town police chief faces raps over death of ‘habal-habal’ driver, drug suspect

By Jessa Mylce Mella ABS-CBN News NAGA CITY --- The police chief of Paracale, Camarines Norte is facing murder charges for the death of a “habal-habal” driver and a drug suspect. Senior Insp. Manuel Sarmiento has been charged with murder while 10 policemen were charged with obstruction of justice over the death of Jaydee Juguilon in a police operation. Juguilon, 25, was moonlighting as a habal-habal driver on July 24, 2016 to provide for the 7th-month celebration of his son’s birth. Juguilon was hired to drive a man to nearby town Paracale from Jose Panganiban. Little did he know, his passenger was Richard Jalimao, an alleged “drug personality”. The two were flagged down in a checkpoint in front of the Paracale police station. Police claimed Juguilon and Jalimao fled from a buy-bust operation. “At about 3:56 in the afternoon, suspects were flagged down and stopped but instead of cooperating with the authorities, the driver grabbed the team leader in his left hand while the back rider pulled out his caliber .38 revolver tucked in his waistline. At this instance, PSI Sarmiento left with no choice but to shoot the back rider and the driver,” the Paracale police said in a statement. Police alleged the two fought back but findings of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) showed otherwise. NBI-Naga Special Investigator Rogel Intia said several witnesses counter the cops’ account. “Pagdating daw dun, hinarang yung dalawa tandem, hinarang, pinag freeze sila, pinagkapkapan. Pinababa sa motor. Pinadapa. Tapos parang may threat ata, habang tumatayo, nag ganun sila “Wag po! Wala namang kasalanan ganun, binaril,” Intia said. The victim’s mother Daisy Juguilon believes it was a case of mistaken identity. “Mis(taken)-identity sila sa anak ko, nilagyan na lang nila ng alias, alias ‘Rod’. Wala namang alyas ang anak ko sa buong Panganiban,” she said. The complaint against the policemen was filed at the Naga City Prosecution Office after the Camarines Norte Prosecution Office inhibited from the case. In August, a resolution was released which showed the prosecutors found a probable cause. Sarmiento said he hasn’t received the copy of the resolution but is ready to file his motion for reconsideration. Camarines Norte Police Provincial Office Director Senior Superintendent Rod Dimas said he supports Sarmiento’s claim that what happened was a legitimate police operation. “Siyempre, I stand with the reports of my policemen, kasi nung nabasa ko yung report nila, naniwala ako,” he said.

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