Eleazar PNP chief, General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar

Eleazar warns poll bets with drug links

October 2, 2021 Alfred P. Dalizon 244 views

PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief, General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar on Saturday warned candidates running for different elective positions in the 2020 national and local elections to stay away from known illegal drug personalities to boost their election chances.

According to the top cop, he issued the warning amid the possibility of illegal drugs syndicates financing the campaign of some candidates in exchange for protection once they are elected citing cases in the past wherein some locally elected officials were arrested for involvement in illegal drugs.

In particular, he mentioned the case of a former Panukulan, Quezon Mayor Ronnie Mitra who, along with his driver were arrested by the police in October 2001 for transporting almost 500 kilos of shabu worth P1 billion using an ambulance in Real municipality.

In 2007, Mitra and his drier Javier Morilla were sentenced to life imprisonment by a Quezon City court. They were also ordered to each pay a P10 million fine. However, two Chinese nationals tagged as accomplices to the mayor were acquitted for lack of sufficient evidence.

Gen. Eleazar also cited the case of a former Maguindanao town mayor who was arrested last June for possession of a cache of firearms and explosives and more than P200,000 worth of shabu at the Batangas City port.

The accused identified as ex-policeman-turned former Talitay, Maguindanao Mayor Montasser Sabal was later killed after reportedly grabbing the firearm of one of his escorts as he was about to be brought to Camp Crame.

“Illegal drugs operation is a lucrative business and we are not discounting the possibility that either some erring candidates would use this for fund-raising or the drug syndicates would offer campaign donations in exchange for protection once they are elected. Hindi natin papayagan ito kaya inatasan ko na ang ating PDEG at Intelligence Group na tingnang mabuti ang ganitong posibilidad,” said the PNP chief.

“Binabalaan ko ang mga kandidato na huwag mamuhunan sa iligal na droga sa kanilang kandidatura dahil ako mismo ang mag-e-expose sa inyo at mangunguna sa pagsampa ng disqualification at mga kaukulang kaso kapag nakakalap kami ng sapat na ebidesya laban sa inyo. Hindi ko hahayaang mauwi sa wala ang lahat ng hirap at sakripisyo ng PNP sa aming agresibong kampanya laban sa iligal na droga,” he added.

More than P64 billion worth of shabu were seized while 307,521 illegal drugs personalities, including 13,244 High-Value Targets, were arrested in the campaign against illegal drugs since July 2016 to date.

Last month, a multi-law enforcement agency operations led by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the PNP resulted in the confiscation of more than P5.5 billion worth of shabu in neutralization of 11 big-time drug traffickers, including the main contact of an international drug syndicate in a series of operations in Zambales, Bataan and Cavite.

Gen. Eleazar also commended the PNP personnel who took part in a PDEA-led anti-narcotics operation in Bacoor City in Cavite which resulted in the confiscation of more than P1 billion worth of shabu and the arrest of suspects Jorlan San Jose, 26; Joseph Maurin, 38; and Joan Lumanog, 27.

He also lauded the newly-installed Regional Director of Police Regional Office 7, Brigadier. Gen. Roque Eduardo DP Vega, for the confiscation of almost P41.5 million worth of shabu in two separate operations in Cebu province.

“Sunud-sunod na ang ating matagumpay na operasyon laban sa droga at inatasan ko na ang ating mga police commanders down to the city and municipal level na lalo pang paigtingin ang kampanya sa pamamagitan ng regular updating ng mga dati at mga bagong drug personality sa kani-kanilang lugar,” said Gen. Eleazar.