SC upholds 2-month prison term for ex-PDEA official

Evelyn Macairan – The Philippine Star

December 29, 2021 | 12:00am


MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) has affirmed a Sandiganbayan decision sentencing a former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) official to two months in prison for threatening his subordinate in 2013.

In a 12-page decision penned by Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, the SC’s First Division dismissed for lack of merit the appeal of Juvenal Azurin, who was found guilty by the Sandiganbayan of issuing grave threats against PDEA agent Jaime Clave.

Azurin recently resigned as regional director of PDEA’s Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to run for mayor of San Fabian, Pangasinan under the Aksyon Demokratiko party.

The SC affirmed the anti-graft court’s April 26, 2019 and Aug. 14, 2019 decisions and sentenced Azurin to serve two months and one day in prison as well as pay a P500 fine and the cost of the suit.

Court records show that in 2013, Azurin – then the PDEA Region 2 director – called Clave, repeatedly telling the agent, “Papatayin kita (I will kill you)” during their conversation.

Clave said he believed Azurin was upset with him because he sent a text message to the PDEA deputy director for administration regarding office issues pertaining to the operational funds.

“Clave feared for his life as he knew that Azurin, being a PDEA RD who had an office-issued firearm, a former Navy officer and a member of the Magdalo group, was capable of carrying out his threats,” the SC said.

Clave reported the incident to the police and took photographs of his cell phone to record the calls he received, the name of the caller and the duration of the calls.

He also filed an administrative complaint against Azurin before the PDEA’s Internal Affairs Services Office, and a criminal complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman.

Azurin said he only called Clave to inform him of his reassignment.

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