Alvaro’s influence

By: Editorial August 18,2016 - 09:24 PM

Cartoon for_19AUG2016_FRIDAY_renelevera_DRUG SYNDICATE

When suspected drug lord Alvaro “Barok” Alvaro was locked up at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC), we didn’t expect that it would be the last time we would hear from him unless someone from the inside decided that it would be.

There were even reports stating that Alvaro would become part of the famed dancing inmates of the CPDRC, and that it would just be a matter of time before he makes his feature debut in front of a crowd of spectators.

That is, until last Friday’s shootout between Danao City police and Barok’s younger brother Medz Alvaro, who supposedly decided to continue Barok’s illegal drug trade in his absence, and the simultaneous raids in the Cebu City Jail and the CPDRC that showed, among the wads of cash, drugs and contraband, a SIM card under his pillow, which strongly indicated that he kept in touch with family despite the prohibition on cell phones inside the cells.

Regardless of whether he openly defied or discreetly violated prison rules, the shootout and the resulting threats to Danao City police showed that Alvaro is anything but a minimal security risk as previously claimed by recently resigned Capitol consultant on jail matters Marco Toral.

Toral’s negligence in jail security and obvious underestimation of Alvaro showed in the discovery of a cell phone and laptop belonging to inmate Eileen Ontong and German Thomas Ruhland, grievous evidence that they were somewhat still pursuing their cyberpornography trade even behind bars.

But it’s Barok we are talking about and his sustained illegal drug activities, which, as last Friday’s shooting showed, have become a family affair.

Danao City police have yet to verify this development, but the strafing of their humble office and Barok’s mother allegedly threatening them that she would have them killed by her son cannot be dismissed outright nor misconstrued as the rants of a mother who despaired of her son’s brutal death.

The strafing and shootout merely confirmed President Rodrigo Duterte’s warning about the threat posed by drug syndicates in this country. It also showed just how ill-equipped and understaffed the Danao City police is.

Senior Insp. Alejandro Batobalonos, Danao City police chief, was assured by the Danao City government that a new police building will be built near the fire station next month.

But with all their political influence in Cebu’s 5th district, it’s a wonder why Danao City’s Durano clan was unable to build a police precinct for their own police force even before.

As of this writing, Alvaro’s threat to decimate the Danao City police’s ranks have yet to come to pass, and we hope it doesn’t.

When drug lords command considerable resources and people at their disposal to pose a challenge to local governments and even the country itself, then Cebuanos and the rest of the Filipinos have a big problem in their hands.

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TAGS: Alvaro Alvaro, Barok, Cebu, CPDRC, Danao City, drug, drug lord, drugs

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