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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, August 9, 2016
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Friends rally behind de la Paz

Friends and colleagues of Senior Supt. Ricardo de la Paz, Police Regional Office 18 directorial staff officer-in-charge , yesterday came to his rescue, after President Rodrigo Duterte linked him to the illegal drug trade.

Senior Supt. Mariano Natuel, deputy regional director for Operations of PRO 18, and Bacolod Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran vouched for the integrity of de la Paz, based on their personal assessments, saying that they do not believe the allegations against him.

Natuel described de la Paz as a “very formal guy”.

Natuel also noted the incomplete information being fed to the President, with regards to the list of alleged protectors in the illegal drug trade.

If you are giving an intelligence report to the president, it must be complete with rank, with first name and the area they are assigned, he said.

Julius Navales, PDEA regional director for NIR, also said that the names of de la Paz and Senior Supt. Ruperto Floro also of PRO 18, were not in their watch list, and they have no information about their alleged involvement.

“We don't know the sources of the President, it was a national list” Navales said.

De la Paz, who strongly debunked the allegations against him, said he will request President Duterte to further review the accusations against him, and that he be accorded due process.

Police records show that de la Paz had been a consistent awardee as best police commissioned officer for several years in Negros Occidental and Police Regional Office 6 for almost a decade, while he was still assigned in the province in the 1990s.

The Silay City Police Station that he commanded for almost two decades, was also adjudged as best city police station nationwide.

Before his present assignment, de la Paz also served as provincial police director of Iloilo, Negros Occidental and Guimaras, aside from being the BCPO police director.*GPB

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