Town exec nabbed for drugs


TAGUM CITY—An elected official of Braulio Dujali town in Davao del Norte was arrested by antidrugs agents for alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade.

Senior Supt. Samuel Gadingan, Davao del Norte police chief, said Romulo Esmeno, Braulio Dujali councilor, was collared during a buy-bust operation conducted by agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) at his store late on Wednesday.

A PDEA agent acted as a poseur-buyer and handed Esmeno a marked P1,000 bill, and he handed back a sachet of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride, commonly known as “shabu,” Gadingan said.

He said the councilor had been under surveillance for over a month before the buy-bust operation was conducted.

“A charge for violation of Republic Act No. 9165, or the Comprehensive Anti-Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, is being readied against him,” he said.

Gadingan described Esmeno’s arrest as one of their biggest accomplishments against prohibited drugs in Davao del Norte.

In Magsaysay, Davao del Sur, police authorities said the shooting to death last week of a 41-year-old resident from motorcycle-riding men was drug-related but even then they denied the existence of vigilantes targeting drug suspects.

Senior Insp. Renier Raotraot, Magsaysay police chief, said based on their investigation, Eleazar Obelidhon, a resident of Barangay Poblacion, had been a suspected shabu pusher.

Obelidhon was killed on Friday last week at the public market. One of two men riding a motorcycle pumped bullets on his body, which caused his instant death.

He was the third drug suspect killed in the province, as the four-month deadline set by Gov. Claude Bautista for police authorities to put a halt to the illegal drugs trade comes to an end next month.

Senior Supt. Ronaldo Llanera, provincial police director, said that while the killings were drug-related, there were no government-sponsored vigilantes operating in the province. Frinston Lim and Orlando Dinoy, Inquirer Mindanao

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