By SHIELA MAE BUTLIG
MISAMIS Oriental Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano yesterday threw his support behind provincial jail warden Dominador Tagarda even as he pointed out that the province’s top prison official would be presumed innocent despite serious accusations made by the regional director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
In a statement released by capitol spokesman Florito “Carlo” Dugaduga, Emano said Tagarda still has his confidence despite the arrest of his two sons Gregor and Bon Clinton during a PDEA raid in his Gumamela Street house yesterday morning, and allegations made by a ranking PDEA official that the jail warden served as his children’s protectors.
PDEA seized sachets of suspected shabu valued at over P150 thousand during the raid.
The capitol described Tagarda’s service in the government for 36 years as “exceptional.”
Reads part of Emano’s statement: “I am not quick to judge as based on the reports that reached me. I still have my faith and confidence to Mr. Tagarda in running the MOPJ. His performance as the Provincial Warden for 36 years has been exceptional. His official capacity is separate and distinct with his private affairs such as what had happened on his two sons. No father could ever turn his back to his beloved children specially in times of difficulties, what more of Mr. Tagarda whom I have known to be a responsible man [sic].”
Emano said he emphasized with Tagarda and understand how the official feels as a parent, adding that his pain is “unimaginable.”
He said no parent would want his or her children to be in legal trouble.
But he said Tagarda’s sons are already grownups who made their own decisions.
Emano said what happened was just one of the many stories about parents with children that had a bursh with the law.
He said of PDEA regional director Wilkins Villanueva’s call for Tagarda’s resignation: “Different sectors hastily calls for his resignation to the position due to the supposed conflict of interests, I still believe in the rule of law as well as our Christian virtues; the presumption of innocence and not to abandon those who are in times of need [sic].”
Emano asked Villanueva to provide him evidence against Tagarda, “and I will refer this legal matter to the proper office.”
He said that if there is sufficient evidence against Tagarda, “I will make sure that cases will be filed against him” that could result in the forfeiture of the jail warden’s remaining salaries and benefits.
“Again as I said I will uphold the rule of law. Nothing more nothing less,” Emano said.