THE weather forecaster of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) of Misamis Oriental arrested on drug charges has tested positive for drug use, police said on Wednesday, October 11.
The suspect, Vergil Lago, underwent inquest proceedings on Wednesday after the City Drug Enforcement Unit-Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (CDEU-Cocpo) charged him with illegal drug use and possession of illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia.
Senior Police Officer 3 (SPO3) Jigger Rojo, investigator of the CDEU-Cocpo, said suspect will be detained temporarily at the Maharlika detention facility while waiting for the court's commitment order.
Police said the suspect can post bail.
Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny "Bambi" Emano said Lago will be put in preventive suspension pending investigation.
"Depende pa dayon ang duration sa preventive suspension," Emano said.
The governor, who describes himself as a staunch supporter of the anti-illegal drugs campaign of the government, reiterated his support for law enforcement agencies drive to arrest suspected drug personalities in government.
Lago was the former weather monitoring chief of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Department (CDRRMD) before he resigned and was hired by the Capitol seven months ago.
Emano said the arrest of Lago should serve as a stern warning to all Capitol workers as he adds that regular, unannounced, and random drug testing will be continued.
"Dili pa kaya sa budget ang compulsory drug testing pero double na ang numbers sa random drug test from the previous," Emano said.
Board member Gerardo Sabal said the Provincial Board will prioritize and earmark more funds for the anti-illegal drug programs.
Sabal, vice chairman of the police committee, said the body fully supports the anti-illegal drug programs of the governor.
"One hundred percent ang among support sa mga plano sa executive. Dili angayan nga hugot ang kampanya sa Provincial Government batok illegal nga droga unya naay madakpan nga empleyado," Sabal said.
"Timing kay budget deliberation next month we will consider it ug tagaan og prayoridad ang anti-illegal drug programs," Sabal added.
Sabal explained that if and when Lago is found guilty of drug charges, it would be a basis to whether the suspect will be booted out from the
Sabal said the Capitol's weather forecaster will still be accorded due process based on the civil service rules.
"Kung unsay napatik sa civil service rules ato nang subayon. If and when he is found guilty, naa nata basis niana if angay siya i-terminate o dili," Sabal said.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 12, 2017.