Ilocos police probe 4 officials, 1 ex-official in President Duterte’s ‘narco’ list

Ilocos police probe 4 officials, 1 ex-official in President Duterte’s ‘narco’ list

CAMP BGEN OSCAR M FLORENDO, La Union — Four incumbent officials and one former official who were in President Rodrigo Duterte’s list of suspected narco-politicians, are undergoing “in-depth and impartial” investigation, regional police director, Chief Supt. Gregorio R. Pimentel, has said.

Pimentel said it is the responsibility of the police to verify their alleged links to illegal drugs and give them a chance to clear their names.

Being investigated are Mayors Martin de Guzman of Bauang; Dante Garcia of Tubao; and Renaldo Flores of Naguilian; as well as former mayor of Agoo Dr. Eufranio Eriguel, all from La Union; and Congressman Jesus “Boying” Celeste of the first district of Pangasinan. They were among the more than 150 personalities recently named by the President.

Flores and Celeste showed up at Pimentel’s office on Aug. 7 in compliance with the President’s instruction for them to appear before the police within 24 hours.

The two government officials were also debriefed by combined personnel of the regional police, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Regional Office 1 (PDEA-RO1), Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit 1 (CIDU1) and Regional Intelligence Unit 1 (RIU1).

Meanwhile, eight assorted firearms of Celeste were turned over by his brother, Mayor Arnold Celeste of Bolinao, Pangasinan to the Bolinao police station for safekeeping.

The firearms consisted of two shotguns, two M16 rifles, two 9-mm pistols, one .45 caliber pistol, one .22 caliber gun and assorted ammunition. They had corresponding licenses, which were issued last Jan. 26 and will expire on April 20, 2020.

At the same time, the respective chiefs of police of the towns of the three mayors were relieved under the Philippine National Police’s “one-strike policy” and to prevent them from influencing ongoing investigations. PNA/