3 town execs linked to drug lord nabbed in Cebu

CEBU CITY — A joint police task force arrested three municipal councilors of San Fernando, Cebu early Friday morning for possession of unlicensed firearms and illegal drugs in three separate operations.

Provincial Regional Office- 7 (PRO-7) Chief Noli G. Talino said the three town officials were connected to self-confessed drug lord Franz Sabalones, who was named by President Rodrigo Duterte last year as a big-time drug operator in Cebu province.

Arrested were Municipal Councilors Alfonso Donaire IV and Edwin Villaver, both 46 and married, and Barangay Chairman Johnny Arriesgado.

Arriesgado, 54, who is also an ex-officio municipal councilor and president of the Association of Barangay Councils, was arrested in his house in Barangay Magsico at 4:00 a.m. Two .45 pistols, a defective .30 carbine rifle and bullets were recovered from him.

An hour later, another raid was conducted in the house of Villaver in Barangay Greenhills where two .9mm pistols, a Black Widow revolver and other firearms were recovered.

Another two .45-caliber pistols, a magazine, two live bullets, and a heat-sealed transparent sachet believed to be metamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu were recovered when the house of Donaire in Barangay North Poblacion was also raided past 6:00 a.m.

Regional Trial Court Judge Jerry Dicdican of Danao City issued the search warrants for the three successive raids.

Talino said they have been investigating the three local government officials for many months after the PRO-7 received information from San Fernando about the municipal councilors’ illegal activities in the community.

“They are believed to be protectors of drug personalities in their area according to our intelligence team. The municipal councilors were the handlers of captured drug pushers in San Fernando,” Talino told reporters.

The PRO-7 now has custody of the suspects and preparing the filing of charges against the three.

The joint task force was made up of operatives from the Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG), Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit (PDEU), Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC), Provincial investigative Branch (PIB) and the San Fernando Police Station. LBG/USJR intern Ador Menchavez/PNA-northboundasia.com