PDEA denies role in disappearance of 2 persons in NoCot

COTABATO CITY -- The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency’s (PDEA) office in North Cotabato has denied any involvement in the recent disappearance of two persons in Pikit town.

“We operate as a team and coordinate with our partner military and police operatives for every mission we conduct in localities of the province,” PDEA-North Cotabato provincial director, Neil Liansing, said Wednesday.

PDEA-North Cotabato was dragged into the issue after two persons, identified as cousins Faisal, 21, and Hamid, 17, both surnamed Dianalan and residents of Barangay Macabual, Pikit, were picked up by burly men on board a black pickup truck in Barangay Inug-ug, Pikit last Sunday.

Village chairman, Jalandoni Matalam, said the cousins were walking towards a river in the area at about 10 a.m. when their path was blocked by a black pickup truck.

He said Faisal was manhandled before both were forcibly loaded in the vehicle.

Matalam said militiamen manning a nearby Army detachment attempted to stop the men from taking the cousins but they reportedly declared that they were PDEA agents on a mission.

“The militiamen backed off as they presumed that the cousins were the targets of a PDEA operation,” he said.

However, relatives of the two became anxious after nothing has been heard of from the cousins, prompting them to inquire at the PDEA 12 (Soccsksargen) headquarters in General Santos City on their whereabouts.

Both PDEA-12 and PDEA-North Cotabato denied having any information or having launched any law enforcement operation against the cousins.

“The families of the two are worried because Faisal is a known lowly fisherman in our village while Hamid is a Grade 9 student at a local public school,” Matalam said.

Liansing said they would cooperate in the investigation of the Dialanans' disappearance but he also advised the public not to submit themselves to people claiming to be PDEA agents without proper identification and court order.

“Many unknown groups nowadays are using the name of PDEA for their nefarious activities. Be sure to demand proper identification documents and other pertinent papers once you are being arrested for reasons you do not know,” he said. (PNA)

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