Rats on his drug sources, police protectors in his payroll
Central Visayas’ top drug lord Franz Sabalones turned himself in to Philippine National Police Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and ratted on his bosses and protectors.
According to dela Rosa, Sabalones admitted that a police colonel was in his payroll and got P200,000 “weekly payola.”
“Gusto ko nang magbago (I want to change my ways),” said Franz when dela Rosa asked what made him surrender to the police.
“Kung hindi siya magbago, mapapatay talaga ito. Ngayong nag-surrender ka, magbago kana ha (If he wouldn’t change, he’ll surely get killed. Now that you’ve surrendered, change already, okay?),” the PNP chief told Franz during his meeting with other local officials on Duterte’s list.
Franz was not in the Duterte list of drug protectors but his brother Fralz was. Fralz is the vice mayor of San Fernando town in southern Cebu.
The Sabalones brothers went to Camp Crame yesterday morning: Franz to admit being a drug lord and Fralz to clear his name.
Franz admitted his involvement in the illegal drugs trade and volunteered to help the police in their campaign.
Vice Mayor Fralz said he was disappointed by what he claims as mistaken identity when Duterte publicly announced the names of alleged “narcopoliticians.”
“Kapatid ko si Franz. Pero nabasa ni President Duterte ‘yung pangalan ko. Masakit sa damdamin ko ‘yung nangyari (Franz is my brother, but what President Duterte read was my name. I was very hurt by what happened),” Fralz said.
Franz was allegedly the number two drug personality in Central Visayas for several years until the top suspected drug lord, Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz was slain by Cebu-based operatives in what police claimed to be a shootout in Las Piñas City last June 17.
Franz admitted assuming control of Cebu’s drug trade from Jaguar.
“Siya yung umamin na drug lord siya sa Central Visayas, Region 7 sa Cebu (He admitted he was a drug lord in Cebu and other parts of Central Visayas),” dela Rosa said in televised interaction with the media.
The PNP chief said Franz also confessed that he had been giving a “weekly payola” of P200,000 to a police colonel and other policemen in Cebu.
Dela Rosa declined to identify the police colonel and the other police officers but said they were already transferred to the other regions.
“Yung payola n’ya weekly, may napupunta kay colonel, may napupunta kay major, may napupunta kay chief of police. Sinabi n’ya lahat yung officials ng PNP na involved at sa lahat ng sinabi lahat yun ngayon wala na sa Cebu dahil itatapon natin sa ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao), Cordillera ’yang mga officials na ‘yan pati police non-commissioned officers,” he said.
(His weekly payola goes to the colonel, to the major, to the chief of police. He revealed all officials involved in the PNP. All those officials are no longer in Cebu because they were assigned to the ARMM, Cordillera, including the non-commissioned officers.)
The colonel, Franz said, is close to a police general.
“According to him, he gives the money to the colonel. But he doesn’t know if this colonel, who is close to the general, remits money to the general,” dela Rosa said.
Last July 15, Dela Rosa ordered the immediate relief and transfer of five colonels in Cebu. They are Supt. Rex Derilo, Supt. George Ylanan, Supt. Marvin Sanchez, Supt. Teofilo Siclot, and Supt. Rodolfo Albotra.
The July 15 order from Camp Crame did not explain the reason for the relief.
“We have to pull out some policemen and relocate them to disrupt their illegal operations,” dela Rosa had said.
Supt. Derilo was directed to report to the Zamboanga Peninsula police office.
He and Supt. Ylanan led the team that killed Jaguar Diaz in Las Piñas City last June 17.
Derilo in an interview said he did not know the identity of the police colonel who was reportedly receiving a weekly payola from Sabalones.
“Naa man ko sa Zamboanga, Region 9 ko. Ato ning klarohon, lahi na nga area ang Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (I am in Zamboanga, Region 9. Let’s make this clear, this is a different area from the ARMM),” he said.
He said before they were transferred to Mindanao, Sabalones was their next target in the series of drug operations they planned after Jaguar was neutralized.
Ylanan was transferred to northern Mindanao.
Camp Crame also ordered the transfer of Supt. Sanchez to the Cordillera Region.
Supt. Albotra was assigned to the Caraga Administrative Region in Mindanao, while Supt. Siclot was transferred to Cagayan Valley Region.
Five non-commissioned officers were sent to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) but they don’t hold the rank of colonel.
They are SPO1 Francis Villamor, PO3 Frederick Ybañez, PO3 Mark Tago Aniñon and PO2 Julius Codilla while PO3 Cesar Pandong is going to the Caraga Region.
“Baka mapatay ko ‘yung colonel na ipapatawag. Hawakan ko leeg at baliin ko leeg kapag nasa harap ko siya (I might kill this colonel. I’ll hold his neck and break it when he’s in front of me),” said dela Rosa.
According to dela Rosa, Franz told him that he used to be Jaguar’s underling but later broke away from the slain drug kingpin’s group to increase his income.
Dela Rosa said Franz tried to go directly to his supplier, Peter Co, a Chinese drug lord who is detained at the National Bilibid Prison.
Jaguar purportedly did all he could to stop Franz, by discouraging Co from directly supplying his former friend.
Dela Rosa said Franz decided to look for another supplier and found a certain David Sy where he eventually got his supply of illegal drugs.
“The deliveries were done every month. They carried 15 kilos of shabu in a high-end SUV so that they won’t be apprehended going to Cebu,” De la Rosa said.
“When they reach Cebu, they just park the vehicle in Gaisano Mall’s parking area and they distribute the goods there. That’s what Franz told me,” he added.
Dela Rosa said he has yet to verify whether or not there is an existing arrest warrant against Franz.
Dela Rosa said charges can be filed against the self-confessed drug lord, since Franz admitted his participation in the illegal drugs trade.
“Hindi pauwiin yun. Baka pwede pa yun i-inquest. May lawyer naman syang kasama (I won’t let Franz go home. Perhaps, (we can file a case) and let a prosecutor conduct an inquest proceeding. Anyway, he brought with him a lawyer),” he said.
Dela Rosa cautioned Franz to make good of his plan to change his life or else he will be killed.
“Kung hindi siya magbago, mapapatay talaga ito. Ngayong nag-surrender ka, magbago ka na ha? (If he won’t change, he’ll get killed. Now that you’ve surrendered, you have to change),” he told Franz.
Police Regional Director Noli Taliño said, “For now, I don’t have any idea who Franz alluded to as his police protectors.”
He said Franz’s decision to surrender will have a big impact on the drug trade in the region.
“It’s a big blow to the illegal drugs trade in Central Visayas. Yong mga galamay niya, mawawalan ng ulo kaya lalo silang magkawatak-watak dito (His members and connections lost a leader, hence they will broken apart),” Taliño said.
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