A CACHE of firearms, explosives and P5-million worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu were seized from the house of a Sarangani town mayor, an anti-narcotics official said Friday.
A composite team from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) police and military raided the house of Maasim City Mayor Aniceto Lopez Jr. in Barangay Lumasal in a law enforcement operation that started around 3 a.m.
PDEA director Aaron Aquino said among those recovered were P5 million worth of shabu, suspected ecstasy pills, equipment used in making illegal drugs, assorted firearms and ammunitions, improvised explosive devices and a notebook containing alleged illegal drug transactions and persons involved in illegal drugs activities of Lopez.
Aquino said Lopez fled before the raiding team came.
"Mayor was not there that time. We thought that there was a leak about the operation because we earlier had information that he was inside his compound but when we entered he was not there. We just conducted a search of the compound," the PDEA official said in Filipino.
However, Aquino said Lopez has already sent surrender feelers which may be facilitated by his party mate, Senator Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao.
Aquino said Lopez was not included in President Rodrigo Duterte's list of narco-politicians but he was included in the PDEA's drugs watchlist.
He said the mayor is the leader if El Patron Drug Group, which operates in Sarangani and nearby provinces, and he also appears to be a supporter of Ansar Khalifa Philippines led by slain Mohammad Jaafar Maguid who is involved in several bombing incidents in the region. (SunStar Philippines)