3 La Union drug pushers each meted life imprisonment

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – Three illegal drug pushers were each meted life imprisonment in separate rulings released yesterday by the regional trial courts here.

Found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of selling dangerous drugs were Raymund Monton, a former overseas worker, Algreg Cabalo of Barangay Ilocanos Norte; and Allan Saldua of Barangay Catbangen, all of this
city. They were sentenced to suffer reclusion perpetua in separate decisions by Judge Asuncion Fikingas-Mandia of RTC Branch 29 and Judge Victor Concepcion of RTC Branch 66.

In her March 8 ruling, (aside from life imprisonment for illegal sale of prohibited drugs), Judge Mandia also sentenced Monton to additional 12-20 years for possession of illegal drugs and ordered to pay a fine
of P800,000.

In his two separate decisions on last Feb. 13, Judge Concepcion also sentenced Cabalo for illegal possession of 43.2 grams of the banned methampethamine hydrocloride or shabu, to suffer 14 years in jail for
illegal possession of 0.31 grams of marijuana, and two more years for illegal possession of drug paraphernalia.

Photos by Erwin Beleo/Northbound Philippines News

Cabalo was also ordered to pay a total fine P710, 000.

On the other hand, Saldua was meted reclusion perpetua after Judge Concepcion found him guilty beyond reasonable doubt of illegally selling two plastic sachets of shabu to a police agent who posed as buyer.

He was also ordered to pay a fine of P500,000.

Records showed that Monton and Saldua were arrested in separate buy-bust operations on April 2015 and February 2014, respectively, while Cabalo was caught based on a search warrant also on April 2015.

All were arrested by San Fernando City policemen headed by then Police Superintendent Julius Suriben, the former city police chief.

The three convicts were part of the 251 illegal drug suspects arrested in various police operations in 2014 and 2015 by the San Fernando police station.

During that period, Suriben and his personnel implemented various law enforcement strategies against all kinds of criminality and illegal drugs trade supported by Executive-Legislative agenda of the administration of then mayor, now Congressman Pablo C. Ortega.

Ortega’s tight anti-criminality and illegal drug campaign resulted in the congestion of the City Jail which, prompting him to construct additional two- story detention facility to accommodate the increasing
number of detainees involved in illegal drugs. Jun Elias/Northbound Philippines News