By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Journalist Edgar Cadagat contacted Watchmen Daily Journal yesterday morning, denying any links to embattled police officer Senior Police Officer 1 (SPO1) Joshua Barile, following reports claiming a supposed meeting between the police officer and a suspected leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) was arranged by a “known media personality.”
In a phone interview, he attested to not knowing Barile personally, having previously met once during a press conference back in June.
While denying any role in the alleged meeting with a rebel leader, which was said to have taken place at a shopping mall in Barangay Villamonte, the journalist noted NPA leaders rarely step out in public as they are easily identified and can be arrested.
However, Cadagat corroborated claims made by Barile regarding a “powerful and influential” individual from southern Negros being behind the raid of his home, explaining the firearms seized during last week’s raid were found to be owned by a “powerful politician from southern Negros.”
The journalist added, he plans to file affidavits against Jerry Gepullan, Jimpaul Elizalde, and Roy Flores, who recently filed the affidavits regarding the meeting arrangement.
The three also claimed Barile was engaged in corrupt activities through the alleged planting of evidence, collecting protection money from drug lords and illegal gambling operators, and selling or keeping confiscated evidence.
The police officer currently faces murder charges for the killing of Wilmar and Wilfredo Serenio, the brother and father, respectively, of former Berya drug group member Ricky Serenio. Following the said raid, he was slapped with additional charges of illegal possession of firearms, ammunition, and explosives, as well as possession of illegal drugs./DGB, WDJ