Cop chief wants to know if Sabalones quit drug trade
CEBU’S top cop remains unconvinced that self-confessed drug lord Franz Sabalones is a changed man.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Senior Supt. Eric Noble, Cebu Provincial Police Office (CCPO) chief, said he wanted lawyer Louie Arma, Sabalones’s counsel, to provide evidence that his client is no longer involved in the illegal drug trade.
“I’m inviting him (Arma) to my office. I want to hear what was reported in the media because until now, I still am not convinced that Franz has changed his life,” the police official said.
When reached for comment, Arma said he was willing to meet Noble anywhere at any given time.
“That (invite) is a welcome gesture. I also wanted to talk to him (Noble). Let him choose the date. I’m thankful for this opportunity,” he said.
Sabalones, a native of San Fernando town, southern Cebu, was tagged as the number two drug lord in Central Visayas when he surrendered to Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa on Aug. 7 last year.
He was, however, released from police custody after discreetly giving authorities vital details on how his drug group works.
Arma earlier said his client abandoned his illegal drugs business and wrote a booklet entitled “Say no to drugs. Yes to Jesus Christ” which contained Sabalones’s sentiments on the illegal drugs trade and his decision to change the course of his life.
If Sabalones felt remorse over the things he did, Noble said the drug lord should give him the names of all his cohorts, contacts, and protectors in the illegal drugs trade.
As much as Sabalones would also want to meet Noble, Arma said they just could not let his client come to the open for security purposes.
Arma said Sabalones is facing charges at the Department of Justice (DOJ) for alleged violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, particularly for selling illegal drugs. The offense is non-bailable.
Arma said they are waiting for the DOJ to issue its ruling on the case.
The Court of Appeals issued a freeze order on the bank accounts and properties of Sabalones.
The freeze order is in relation to the investigation conducted by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).
His assets include P76 million in deposits in three bank accounts, six lots, a beach resort in San Fernando, six sports utility vehicles and a 6.4-hectare poultry farm.
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