Taliño: Police do not drag names without verification
PRO-7 chief says on the arrest of 3 San Fernando councilors
The police do not drag names without verification.
This was said by Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, director of Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), following the claim of Franz Sabalones’ lawyer Louie Arma that the police have been dragging drug suspects arrested in San Fernando town to his client.
San Fernando municipal councilors Edwin Villaver, Alfonso Donaire IV and Johnny Arrisgado were arrested by the police during simultaneous drug raids on their homes on Friday dawn.
Arrisgado, who is the barangay captain of Magsico, sits as ex-officio member of the town council as president of the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC).
“Associated sila dati kay Franz Sabalones. Yan ang lumalabas sa investigation ng ating mga police,” Taliño said.
Negative of drug use
Villaver and Donaire along with Raul Cole Sr., a councilor of Barangay Putat, Tuburan, who was also arrested by the police in a separate drug raid in his house last Friday, underwent drug tests last Saturday and they turned out negative of drug use.
The raid on Cole’s house yielded several packs of suspected shabu valued at over P235,000 and a .22 caliber gun.
Arrisgado was not included in the drug testing as no drugs were confiscated from him during the raid.
But he said he was willing to be tested using his own money in order to clear his name.
Arrisgado allegedly yielded a .45 caliber pistol, ammunition and one defective .30 caliber rifle during the raid. Another team searched the house of Villaver and confiscated two .45 caliber pistols, a 9mm Magnum revolver, a .357 revolver and a medium-sized pack believed to contain shabu.
Seized from Donaire’s house were a medium-sized pack of suspected shabu, a .45 caliber pistol and some bullets.
Donaire heads the town’s committee on public order and safety.
“Reports that reached us showed that they are protectors of some drug personalities. Whenever a drug suspect is arrested, they intervened. Para
silang middle man, parang ina-harbor nila (They act as middle men. They harbor the criminals),” said Taliño.
The joint operation by the Regional Special Operations Group, Provincial Intelligence Branch, Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit, Special Weapons and tactics and the Cebu Provincial Police Office was conducted after a monthlong police surveillance on Donaire, Arrisgado and Villaver.
Intelligence reports claimed that the three town councilors were all connected to Sabalones, a self-confessed big-time drug dealer from San Fernando town who surrendered to PNP Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa in August last year.
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