By Paulo Loreto Lim
In a statement released by the three former aides to Senior Police Officer 1 (SPO1) Joshua Barile, who currently faces charges of murder, weapons possession, and illegal drugs, they reiterated claims made in affidavits submitted towards the end of last month, linking the police officer to the New People’s Army (NPA) and implicating journalist Edgar Cadagat.
According to Jerry Gepullano, Jimpaul Elizalde, and Roy Flores, Barile met with NPA District Commander Albert ‘Ka Ambit’ Lacerna in July of this year, a meeting they claim was arranged by Cadagat.
In a statement to Watchmen Daily Journal last month, the journalist claimed not knowing Barile personally, saying they had previously met once during a press conference back in June, a month before the said meeting.
He also noted, NPA leaders rarely step out in public as they are easily identified and can be arrested.
The three also claimed Barile turned over an array of firearms, including M-16s, M-14s, and AK-47s, to the NPA leader, adding the source of the weaponry came from the police officer’s “savings.”
Following the recent raid of the police officer’s home at the Regent Pearl Homes Subdivision 2 in Barangay Alijis, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) recovered several firearms, which Barile claimed were turned over to his custody by the court. He said they were brought to his home after finding the relevant police facility was full.
They also characterized Barile as being “welcomed with open arms by NPA elements,” claiming the firearms used in the July 21 ambush of Guihulngan City police officers, which took the lives of seven people, including the local police chief, were provided by Barile.
The three also voiced concerns over the potential possession of a light anti-tank weapon by the NPA, which they believe was given to them by Barile. They report both the NBI and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) expected to recover such a device during the said raid, however, one was not found.
They added, the weapon can be used like a “mini-bazooka.”
In their previous affidavit, the three also accused Barile of acts of corruption through the conduct of illegal practices and receiving protection money from local drug lords./WDJ