THE Senate committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday to produce the officer from Catanduanes who recanted on his previous testimony about how some of his senior officers abused the government’s all-out war on drugs.
“I have done some serious soul searching and I have come to realize that I love my organization and I continue to hold it and its ranks in highest respect despite some sad experience I went through,” said Police Officer 1 (PO1) Vincent Tacorda in a letter Sen. Panfilo Lacson read on Monday at the Senate hearing.
Tacorda addressed his letter to the committee dated July 3 recanting his claims in his first affidavit in which he accused former Catanduanes Police Chief Supt. Jesus Martinez and former Viga Officer-in-Charge Senior Inspector Nathaniel Jacob of ordering him to kill suspected drug pusher Samuel Rojas in Viga, Catanduanes.
Tacorda also informed the committee that he executed an affidavit of recantation on June 29.
Aside from being given the direct order to kill Rojas, Tacorda also confessed in his first affidavit dated May 10 that there were instances when he was ordered to plant evidence to support the arrest of certain individuals.
Tacorda’s first affidavit and a video of his interview disclosing the alleged abuses committed by police officers were presented in Monday’s hearing.
PNP Chief Ronald “Bato” De la Rosa informed the committee that Tacorda was facing charges for his alleged involvement in the killing of journalist Larry Que in December 2016.
Que was killed by unknown gunmen on December 19 while he was about to enter his office in Virac, Catanduanes.
Que wrote about the “shabu” laboratory discovered by police and military forces on November 26 and named several individuals behind the drug operation prior to his killing.
The PNP chief said Tacorda came up with his supposed expose against some Cantanduanes police officials after charges were filed against him.
Lacson, chairman of the committee, asked de la Rosa, to have Tacorda attend the next hearing in order for the panel to hear his testimony directly. JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA