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Tuesday, October 17, 2017 30° Partly cloudy

PDEA to probe 3 Mindanao mayors for drug links

Published

By Joseph Jubelag

General Santos City – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is set to investigate at least three mayors from the South Cotabato – Cotabato – Sultan Kudrat – Sarangani – General Santos City (Socscsksargen) region linked to the illegal drugs network of arrested suspected drug lord Mayor Aniceto Lopez Jr., of Maasim, Sarangani.

PDEA director-general Aaron Aquino said the involvement of the three mayors in the illegal drug trade was uncovered based on the contents of a “green book” seized during the raid launched by PDEA agents last Friday on the house of Mayor Lopez in Brangay Lumasal, Sarangani. The raid resulted in the seizure of one kilo of ‘shabu’ worth P5 million, several firearms and explosives, and equipment used in the manufacture of methamphetamine hydrochloride.

Aquino said the “green book” contained the names of the three mayors who were linked to the illegal drug transactions of the El Patron drug network allegedly led by Lopez.

He said the names of the three mayors were listed in the multi-million illegal drug transactions of the drug ring.

“We are closely monitoring the illicit activities of the three mayors who will be the next target of our anti-drug operations,” Aquino said.

PDEA filed on Monday before the prosecutor’s office in Alabel, Sarangani charges for illegal possession of drugs and firearms and explosives against Lopez.

Lopez was subjected to inquest proceedings before provincial prosecutor Elmer Lastimosa wherein his legal counsel, Orlando Salatandre filed an omnibus motion to release the mayor from detention while asking the prosecutor to conduct proper preliminary investigation on the cases filed against him.

Lastimosa said he has to evaluate the motion filed by the mayor’s camp before he can issue a resolution whether to grant or dismiss such motion.

PDEA regional chief Cesario Gil Castro said the El Patron drug ring is linked to the local narco-terror group Ansar-Khilafah Philippines which has links with the drug network of slain Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo  Parojinog and Albuerra, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa and detained drug lord Herbert Colangco.

He said the mayor is a known supporter of the ISIS-inspired Ansar Khilafah Philippines local terror group and New People’s Army rebels in the area.

A hydro-incinerator cylinder tubes and chemicals used in the manufacture of “shabu were seized from the Lopez’s house. Castro said the suspect was believed to be operating a mini-drug laboratory in his house.

When asked about the seized equipment used in the manufacture of shabu, Castro said Lopez claimed that the equipments belong to his daughter who is a hobbyist/cook.

“We’re very sure that the mayor was just making an alibi since the seized equipments are being used for the operation of a mini-drug laboratory in his house,” Castro said

The mayor was able to elude arrest during the early dawn raid on his house but he later surrendered the same day to Sen. Manny Pacquiao who turned him over to PDEA.

Castro maintained that Lopez was involved in the illegal drug trade amid allegations made by the mayor’s wife, Haydee, that the evidence recovered from their house was planted.

The mayor’s daughter, Manking, said that his father was not involved in the illegal drug trade since the mayor himself hates illegal drug use.

Meanwhile, PDEA agents arrested Monday a former barangay councilor during a drug bust operation in Banga, South Cotabato.

The suspect identified as Joseph Atensor, former village councilor of Barangay Liwanay Banga was nabbed by anti-narcotics agents for selling several grams of “shabu” to a PDEA poseur buyer.

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  • maka pili

    a senator should be thinking of making laws for the good of the country. this senator is only focused on destroying the credibility of our president. this only shows that he is only full of politics and not for the good of the country. he does not have any other agenda to help the country and the people/..

    • sam nicolas

      this senator only won because of pure luck. he does not have the right attitude and credibility to win an election. he is only making noise every time without any real sense in how to help the country grow and the people to be comfortable. he is only after his political ambition at all times,,

    • myca delos santos

      this senator is always grandstanding and will do everything to make him in the news. he is only making noise so the people will always remember him. he has not proven anything and yet he has the guts to speak out against the administration. he has not proven his capability to serve and his capability to be a leader
      ,,

    • michael timbreza

      the country will not benefit from this senator. he is only making noise as he knows from the last election that he will not win anymore and get elected. he has been making baseless allegations on the president and is making noise so that the people will notice him. he doesnt deserve our attention.

    • trisha hipolito

      this senator is proven to be a coward and who has no clear principles. he changes his agenda an is only after his self interest. he is a former soldier who does not have the right discipline to follow his superiors. we cannot expect good things from this senator only noise./.

  • sam nicolas

    this so called senator does not know how to be a senator. all he does is make noise and press release. he does not know the true work of senator and instead only want political considerations given to him. he speaks out against the government but he himself does not know how to run anything.

  • myca delos santos

    this former rebel soldier cannot be trusted. he turned his back on his superiors when he conducted his siege last time. he cannot lead a group of soldiers what more of the entire country. he does not know anything on how to handle and solve the problems of our country. he is just making noise.

  • michael timbreza

    this senator is only after his political career and not for the good of the country. he will only make noise to make the public aware that he is still active. he has no clear agenda and is only after the benefit of himself. he should not be given attention. he is a man who only knows his political agenda no more/

  • trisha hipolito

    noise making is the only talent of this senator. he is known to make noise and to create trouble then he will abandon everything at the end. we cannot trust a man with this reputation. he is never a good leader and will never be in the future of philippine politics..

  • Bonga Go

    Senator trillanes had authored and co authored laws more than pimentel, poe, boxer pacman and binay combined. Dapat lang siya maging maingay sa mga kalokohan gingawa ni dutae. We are not against war on drugs but we are against how it is being implemented. Kaya sign the waiver please. Kala ko matapang ka dutae. Duwag na nga pikon pa.