AN EMPLOYEE of the Misamis Oriental Provincial Government was arrested after he was allegedly caught in the act of using illegal drugs inside a motel in Barangay 32, Cagayan de Oro City, at 12 p.m., Tuesday, October 10.
Police identified the drug suspect as Vergil Lago, 47, a resident of Xavier Heights, Upper Balulang and a weather monitoring officer of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) at the Provincial Capitol.
Lago was caught inside the motel with a woman who turned out to be a police confidential informant (CI).
Seized from the room occupied by the suspect were a sachet containing suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as "shabu," another unsealed sachet with traces of suspected shabu, and assorted drug paraphernalia.
Senior Police Officer 3 (SPO3) Jigger Rojo, an investigator of the City Drug Enforcement Unit-Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (CDEU-Cocpco), said they have been monitoring the suspect for a month now.
Rojo said the female police informant who was with the suspect tipped off the police of the supposed pot session.
Rojo said the suspect initially denied the allegation saying the items belong to the CI.
"Uban sila sa atong CI ug iyang gi-deny kay iya kuno to sa babaye pero without his knowledge ato man tong CI nga maoy nag-confirm sa iyang gihimo ug maoy nagpasulod sa ato busa nasapon nato siya nga gagamit," Rojo said.
Rojo said the suspect was said to be a drug dependent and the reports that the suspect is also peddling illegal drugs are subject for validation.
Case investigator said the suspect will be charged with possession and use of illegal drugs. He will also be made to undergo tests for drug use.
"Ato siyang i-undergo sa drug test kung positive pasakaan siyag pagamit sa ginadiling droga," Rojo said.
Rojo, however, said the suspect can still post bail amounting to around P200,000.
Governor Yevgeny Emano said he was saddened by Lago’s arrest but said that "the law shall prevail."
"I will not tolerate such irresponsible and unwelcome act of any of the employees in the capitol. Like what I have been telling them and the general public 'I am against the use and sell of illegal drugs. I strongly recommend the arrest of these people involved in such a menace of our society," Emano said.
Emano, however, said the PDRRMO's weather forecaster is innocent until proven guilty and deserves respect and understanding.
"It has been my pride to support President Rodrigo Duterte's campaign against the proliferation of illegal drugs, but each and every suspect like Lago deserves his right to defend himself in court. Let justice bring him in or out of this mess. But the law must prevail," Emano added.
Lago has refused to comment on his arrest.
"Didto na lang sa korte nako iingon ang real story," Lago said.
Lago was a former weather monitoring chief of City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Department at Cagayan de Oro City Hall before his resignation and eventual transfer to Capitol’s PDRRMO March of this year.