SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – Three of the four La Union politicians named last year in public by President Duterte have been cleared of their alleged involvement in the illegal drugs trade after a thorough validation conducted by law enforcement agencies.
Based on a copy of the list of illegal drug personalities nationwide, it no longer carries the the names of former La Union 2nd District Representative Eufranio Eriguel, Tubao town Mayor Dante Garcia and Mayor Martin De Guzman of Bauang town. The copies were distributed by the Oddice of the President to heads of government agencies in Region 1.
However, Mayor Reynaldo Flores of Naguilian remained on the list but only for ‘further validation’ because his name was dragged into the illegal drug controversy due to the discovery of shabu laboratory in his town on July 2008.
A highly reliable source disclosed that there are several personalities close to those in charge of providing the list to the President who have taken advantage of the situation to include the names of their rival politicians like Congressman Amado Espino of Pangasinan.
Isidro Lapeña, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency director general, said recently that only the President of the Philippines can announce and declare that the name of an illegal drug personality in his list is already cleared or not.
“It seems that the inclusion of names of these (La Union) politicians has political color because there are alleged (rival) politicians close to those who provide the list to the President,” the source said.
The source said that the decision of the President to distribute the list to regional heads of law enforcement agencies is enough proof that he wants to inform leaders in every region that some of those personalities in his list were already cleared.
It was learned that Flores’ name will remain in the list until the case against the brains behind the shabu laboratory would be filed after a task force conducted a re-investigation on the establishment of said laboratory in his town.
The re-investigation of the shabu laboratory was conducted when Duterte named Flores in his narco-list. Flores then thanked the President for naming him which, he said, gave him opportunity to name those allegedly involved in the operation of the shabu laboratory,
Flores now served as one of the witness of the case which allegedly involved seven high-ranking active and retired police and military officials.
Cases against these officials are now being prepared by an agency under the Office of the President before its formal filing at the Department of Justice. Jun Elias/Northbound Philippines News