Sagada officials cleared

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Cordillera Director Allan Ricardo cleared the local government unit and Sagada police of involvement in the illegal drug trade.

Ricardo said local police were instrumental in the drug bust operation that raided suspected drug dens in Sagada, saying inside information and leads were tipped off by local cops in town.

Former Cordillera Police chief Benjamin Magalong previously ordered an investigation against police personnel in Sagada who failed to identify and eradicate drug dens in their vicinity. The Sagada police station, situated only half a kilometer away, did not detect drug dens in the town.

Ricardo said they have been talking and working with local officials on ways to rebuild the image of Sagada as a premier tourist destination and eradicate the illegal drug trade.

PDEA toppled the infamous "Sagada Mafia," arresting Bugnosen Dogaw, Rafael Wangdali, and Shayne Gloria, all owners of establishments in the town where marijuana plants valued at several hundred thousand pesos were seized.

Ricardo said the PDEA is still coordinating with the police and other agencies to monitor the illegal drug trade in the municipality and even the entire Cordillera region.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 30, 2013.

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