PRO-6 dares Passi City raid subjects: Sue us!

Brigadier General Sidney Villaflor, Western Visayas chief, shows the charge sheet against Staff Sergeant Jeffrey Barrios of the Philippine Army’s 301st Infantry Brigade and his brother, Neptalie Barrios. The Barrios brothers were subjected to a firearm raid on August 12 at their houses in Barangay Agtabo, Passi City, Iloilo. (Jennifer P. Rendon photo)

By Jennifer P. Rendon

The Police Regional Office (PRO) 6 is challenging the subjects of a firearm raid in Passi City to file criminal charges against the raiding police team.

Brigadier General Sidney Villaflor, Western Visayas police director, issued the dare to the camp of Staff Sergeant Jeffrey Barrios and his brother, Neptalie Barrios, after the latter claimed that police planted evidence and robbed them of P135,000 cash.

Sergeant Barrios is assigned to the Philippine Army’s 301st Infantry Brigade. He was on duty when the police raided his house.

Villaflor said he decided to hold a press conference to put an end to claims that the raid on the houses of the Barrios brother in Barangay Agtabo, Passi City last August 12 was tainted with irregularity.

He said he ordered Colonel Ronaldo Palomo, Iloilo police chief, to go to the Barrios family and urged them to file a case so that “our policemen could face them in the proper forum and present the evidence they gathered.”

Initially, police wanted to downplay the accusations until social media posts regarding the case attracted national attention.

Villaflor said vlogs (video blogs) made by Jeffrey’s wife, Nellie, and a military official prompted him to “lay the facts.”

Members of the Passi City Component Police Station and the Iloilo Police Provincial Office-Provincial Special Operations Group (IPPO-PSOG) arrived in the area at around 4:27 p.m.

As to the claims that the search warrant was not presented, Villaflor said the police operational procedure states that a “search warrant should be presented before the actual conduct of the operation.”

In the said case, police first secured the area before conducting the actual raid.

“The purpose why the occupants were extracted inside the house prior to the actual search is purely for security and safety of all the persons present in the area including the operating personnel, considering that the subject of the raid was armed and dangerous,” he said.

Villaflor cited that it is the fundamental duty of a police officer “to secure the life and limbs of every person during a police operation.”

He added that the raid was witnessed by Assistant City Prosecutor Hadji Hrotgar Hidlao, Barangay Captain Alejandro Aquino and Barangay Kagawad Ingracio Season of Agtabo, Passi City.

He noted that the houses were equipped with high-definition closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras with audio.

“The recoveries couldn’t be hidden given the presence of CCTV cameras,” Villaflor said.

Recovered during the operation were a caliber 9mm Armscor pistol (serial number 1619036) with magazine loaded with 10 ammunition, a magazine for caliber 9mm with nine ammunition; two empty magazines of caliber 9mm, a Thompson caliber .45 sub-machine gun with Serial No. 557543 with long magazine and loaded with 15 ammunition, a magazine with 11 ammunition, an empty magazine, two caliber .38 revolvers without serial number and ammunition; a caliber .38 revolver without serial number with two ammunition in its cylinder and a hand grenade.

On top of that, police also used body-worn cameras during the operation to record the raid.

“And besides, the wife signed the certificate of orderly search,” he said.

But the wife and the barangay captain were present during a press conference called by the Barrios brothers’ lawyer, Atty. Jesus Obejero Jr., on August 15.

They alleged in the same press briefing that they lost P135,000 cash during the raid.

But Villaflor lamented that they only presented a portion of the CCTV footage that did not depict the entire operation.

“That’s why, we urge them to file a case in court for us to answer the allegations they made,” he said.


The search warrant emanated from a strafing incident that transpired last July 30, 2023 at Brgy Baraulan, San Enrique, Iloilo, which injured two persons, a 14-year-old boy and his 22-year-old cousin.

A case for multiple frustrated murder was filed against Staff Sergeant Jeffrey Barrios and Neptalie Barrios before the Iloilo Provincial Prosecutors Office on Aug. 3, 2023.

The two allegedly retaliated to their father’s death some 28 years ago.

When asked if the two suspects have involvement in other cases, “mahirap ng magsalita. We’re validating something,” Villaflor said.

Another Barrios brother named “Blackjack” is currently incarcerated in Passi City jail.

Blackjack and drug personality Kerwin Espinosa used to be jail mates.

As per Atty. Obejero’s claim, he is also Espinosa’s lawyer.


Meanwhile, 34 policemen, including the chief of the Passi City Component Police Station were administratively relieved following the controversies hounding the August 12 raid at Barangay Agtano, Passi City.

The Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) has confirmed the relief of Lieutenant Colonel Aron Palomo and 33 policemen from the Passi City CPS, the Iloilo Police Provincial Office-Provincial Special Operations Group (IPPO-PSOG) and the IPPP Special Weapons and Tactics (IPPO) team.

Major Marvin Buenavista will temporarily replace Palomo as head of Passi City PNP.

But Brigadier General Sidney Villaflor, Western Visayas chief, said that the relief is administrative only and is not deemed as a punitive one.

The PNP national headquarters advised on the relief, as investigation is still going on.

After the investigation, when they will be cleared, “they will be returned to their post,” Villaflor said.