mamang pulis

CAR cops, PDEA men foil 2022 mayoralty plan of rogue NPD cop-turned MJ trafficker

October 18, 2021 Alfred P. Dalizon 907 views

PDEATHIS rogue ex-policeman from the Northern Police District’s plan to seek a mayoralty post in Mountain Province was effectively thwarted by the Cordillera Police Regional Office and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency following the latter’s arrest for marijuana trafficking.

Cordillera police director, Brigadier General Ronald O. Lee said that 37-year old Sonny Kalaw turned out to be a former NPD member who was dismissed from the police force when he went on AWOL (Absent without Official Leave) status after being investigated for extortion and kidnapping-for-ransom

“Loko talaga yang dating pulis na yan. Biro mo, naging tricycle driver sa Sabangan, Mountain Province tapos nagulat na lang ang mga tao nung nag-file ng candidacy for mayor. Kung hindi siya nahuli, galing sa illegal drugs ang source ng kanyang pagkampanya tiyak,” Lee told the Journal Group.

According to Brig. Gen. Lee, the P2.28 million worth of marijuana bricks seized from the suspect and his cohorts could provide him enough money to bankroll his initial political campaign in Sabangan municipality.

In a report to Philippine National Police chief, General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar, the Cordillera police director said they have further stepped-up their effort to identify and arrest marijuana couriers in the region amid reports that the price of cannabis in the local market had significantly increased in the aftermath of their series of marijuana eradication drives in the region which has so far led in the destruction of over P1 billion worth of fully-grown marijuana crops since last April.

For his part, PDEA chair, Director General Wilkins M. Villanueva discouraged the public from casting their votes for drug-tainted candidates in next year’s polls.

The official issued the warning in light of arrest of Kalaw and four others during a checkpoint operation in Mountain Province around 7:30 a.m. last Wednesday.

He said that joint elements of PDEA Regional Office-Cordillera Administrative Region under Director Gil Cesario Castro and the local police conducted an interdiction/ checkpoint operation in Oowayen, Barangay Poblacion, Sadanga municipality that led in the arrest of the mayoralty candidate and his four accomplices.

Seized during the operation were 19 bricks of dried marijuana leaves, with an estimated street value of ₱2,280,000.00; and one black Toyota Hi-Ace Grandia.

“Dismiss candidates who are involved in illegal drug activities. They do not deserve your votes. We urge the voting public to choose wisely our next leaders,” Villanueva said.

“In all likelihood, reelectionists and prospective bets who act in collusion with drug syndicates might continue to lord it over the polls. Drug money may seep into the electoral process, funding the campaign of certain politicians seeking positions in the government in exchange for protection and self-preservation.

“Your vote is precious and please treat it that way. If we want to attain drug-free communities, we should opt for leaders who genuinely defend the nation from illegal drugs,” Villanueva said.

According to Brig. Gen. Lee, apart from Kalaw, the other suspects arrested were Jonathan Abella,37; Jeric Sansano,30; Samson Damaso,28;; and a 17-year old male.

Lee said that Abella turned out to be an employee of the Bontoc General Hospital while Sansano, Damaso and Kalaw are all construction workers. The teenager is a student.

The official said that members of the Sadanga Municipal Police Station, joined by local PDEA operatives and the Cordillera Police Regional Mobile Force Battalion and Regional Intelligence Division made the arrest while they manning a checkpoint in the area.

It turned out that the officers were approached by a local resident who informed them that a van travelling in the area suffered a flat tire.

Officers later found a black Toyota Grandia van with plate no. POF 950 parked along the national road around three kilometers away from their checkpoint and offered to help its occupants replace the flat tire.

However, when the driver opened the rear door of the van to get the spare tire, the distinctive scent of marijuana greeted the policemen.

In plain view, officers saw a sack containing dried marijuana leaves and live ammunition and several spent cartridges inside the vehicle prompting them to call for back-up and witnesses to the search.

Recovered during the search were 19 pieces of marijuana bricks weighing a kilo each and valued at P2.280 million, 16 spent 9mm ammunition and nine live 9mm bullets. The van was impounded by the local police.

Brig. Gen. Lee said that an Alternative Recording Device (ARD) was used during the arrest and seizure since the concerned policemen are yet to be issued Body-Worn Cameras.

Lee said that three other suspects were also arrested last week for attempting to transport marijuana to Metro Manila by taking advantage of the police’s busy effort to help local residents affected by the powerful tropical depression ‘Maring.’

“My men made the arrest and huge drug seizure while we are also busy in our search-and-rescue-and-retrieval operations in areas in the region devastated by tropical depression ‘Maring.’ Actually, the powerful scent of marijuana gave away the suspects,” the official said.

Lee said that Jorge Eyawon,34; Dario Diway,23; and Jake Caesar Linchangan,19, all residents of Cudal, Tabuk City in Kalinga province were arrested by this men while attempting to transport nearly 154 kilograms of cannabis bricks valued at nearly P19 million early morning Wednesday in Sitio Ampawilen in Poblacion, Sadanga, municipality.

Brig. Gen. Lee said that prior to the arrest, members of the Sadanga Municipal Police Station received an information from the local PDEA regarding the presence of three men believed to be carrying a huge volume of marijuana in their gray Nissan Almera car.

The information prompted the local police to monitor the presence of the suspects riding a car which is expected to pass by the PNP Quarantine Control Point in Sitio Ampawilen.

Lee said that when the vehicle was stopped at the checkpoint, the driver failed to present the vehicle’s registration papers and his driver’s license prompting officers to place him under questioning.

A routine check later resulted in the discovery of the prohibited drugs they were carrying. Brig. Gen. Lee said that recovered inside the car were 148 dried marijuana bricks and six cannabis leaves in tubular form weighing 154 kilos and valued at P18,480,000.

The marijuana leaves were found under the car’s spare tire topped by six coconuts.

All suspects are now facing non-bailable charges for sale and possession of prohibited drugs under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, said the official.