Thursday, October 20, 2016

Police probe half of village chiefs in Albay town linked to illegal drugs
By Jorge Hallare

LEGAZPI CITY, Oct. 20 (PNA) -- Anti-narcotics agents are investigating half of the total number of village chiefs in Sto. Domingo in Albay province over their alleged role in the proliferation of illegal drugs in the town.

Chief of the investigation division of the Albay Provincial Police, Chief Insp. Arthur Gomez, said they are in the process of validating reports from their informants on the suspected role of 12 out of 23 barangay (village) heads in the illegal drug trade in the town.

"They will be subjected to our Operation Tokhang if results of the validation against them will turn positive," he said.

Gomez said from July 1 to Oct. 19, some 12,294 drug personalities -- 1,108 of them pushers and 11,186 users -- have surrendered to authorities in Albay.

He said 165 of them were village officials, 19 of whom were barangay chairmen.

On Oct. 12, Rommel Marticio, chief of Barangay Inarado in Daraga, Albay and one of the surrenderers in the province were killed in a buy-bust operation by narcotics agents.

Gomez said law enforcers are also validating reports on the involvement of two broadcast media persons in the illegal drug trade.

"We need at least three confirmatory validation on their involvement in illegal drugs before we conduct Oplan Tokhang against these mediamen," he said. (PNA) CVL/GVR/JHALLARE/EBP