AN INCUMBENT village chief was arrested while another barangay chairman escaped after the authorities implemented a lawful search that resulted to the confiscation of around P70,000 worth of suspected illegal drugs, guns and explosives, in Tangub City, Misamis Occidental, early Thursday, March 22.
Through a court order, joint elements of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Northern Mindanao (PDEA-10) and the local police, simultaneously served search warrants against Domel Retuya and Rommel Alferez, village chiefs of barangays Silangit and Sta. Cruz, Tangub City, respectively.
The anti-illegal drug agents seized around P35,000 worth of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) from each of the suspects.
A caliber 45 pistol and M16 rifle with live ammunition were confiscated from Retuya while an MK2 fragmentation grenade was confiscated from the house of Alferez.
PDEA-Northern Mindanao agent Ben Calibre said Alferez evaded arrest during the operation.
Calibre said Retuya was included in the top 10 provincial target list for illegal drugs while Alferez was newly identified target. He said they have yet to verify if the two were included in the drug list of President Rodrigo Duterte.
He said both are identified as drug players who supply crystal meth to other pushers and users in the city.
"Apil pud ni sila gagamit at the same time gapamaligya (They are suppliers at the same time users of illegal drugs),"Calibre said.
Calibre expressed dismay over the two village leaders who were supposed to help law enforcers in the government's war on drugs.
He said barangay officials who are not actively cooperating with the government's campaign against illegal drugs because they themselves are involved in illegal drug trade must face the consequences for violating the law.
"We are implementing barangay drug clearing program pero ang problema kay sila mismo dili ga-cooperate kay sila mismo ang gasupak sa balaod (the problem is they are not cooperating because they are the ones who violated the law),"Calibre said.
The suspects will face charges for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act (RA 9165), and illegal possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives.