PNP Region 1 clears La Union mayor as “high value target” on drugs

PNP Region 1 clears La Union mayor as “high value target” on drugs

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, Oct. 15 (PNA)– The investigating task force of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Region 1 has cleared Mayor Reynaldo Flores of Naguilian, La Union for being an “high value target” (HVT) on illegal drug operations as alleged by President Duterte in his 2nd narco-list sometime in September.

Results of the police’s investigation submitted to the President and Chief PNP Director General Ronald Dela Rosa showed that Flores was cleared as HVT due to the absence of parameters to declare him as such a person.

“I have not seen any information leading or making him as “high value target” and there is no such warrant of arrest as of now or any case against him,” Chief Supt. Gregorio Pimentel, Region 1 police director, told the media.

Sr. Insp. Vanessa Gabot, chief of Police Regional Office 1 public information office, confirmed that Flores cannot be labelled as HVT because it was found out during the investigation that he has no pending case or warrant of arrest, particularly related to illegal drugs.

“In line with the identification of Mayor Flores as HVT, the PNP has not received any warrant and we also have it checked (in courts) by our investigators but there is none. Due to the lack of these parameters, the Mayor cannot be considered as HVT,” Gabot said.

President Duterte has identified in his first narco-list sometime in August the names of Flores, along with Tubao town Mayor Dante Garcia, former 2nd District Representative Eufranio Eriguel and Bauang town Mayor Martin De Guzman.

All of them denied the allegations claiming they wennocent of any activities on illegal drugs.

Flores was again named by the President in his second narco-list but already a “high value target” which means he is a priority in the operation of authorities against persons suspected to be involved in illegal drug activities.

Flores said God is guiding the President for naming him as HVT because it would speed up the reinvestigation on the case of the shabu laboratory discovered in his town in 2008, which he suspected was the cause of his inclusion in the list.

“I am very thankful of this information that my name has been cleared as a high value target. I am very hopeful that the truth will come out and justice will be achieved. Those persons who provided the wrong information to the President should also be investigated,” Flores said.

Gabot clarified that the PNP is not just the source of information by the President because there is also the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the military and other law enforcement agencies.

With regards to the involvement of Flores and the other three La Union officials in the alleged illegal drug trade, Pimentel said they had not found yet any concrete evidence to link them in the illegal activity.

“So far, we have not reached any concrete evidence to substantiate there links but there are other findings that came out during the investigation and so it’s premature for us to divulge the result,” Pimentel said In an interview.

Gabot said the result of the investigation was still being validated and was under the process of completing the information gathered from the four officials. Jun Elias with Erwin Beleo and Vicente Alhambra, Jr/