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Village chief in Duterte’s drug list, 3 others nabbed in Davao Oriental

/ 05:39 PM October 19, 2018

DAVAO CITY—A barangay chair in President Rodrigo Duterte’s list of public officials allegedly involved in illegal drug trade was arrested by authorities in Lupon town, Davao Oriental early on Friday, police said.

Chief Insp. Milgrace Driz, Southern Mindanao police spokesperson, said Erwin Barabag, village chief of Macangao in Lupon town, and three others were apprehended in a series of raids.

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Driz said joint teams from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Region 11, Lupon police station and the Regional Mobile Force Battalion swooped down on the house of Barabag at Purok Mansanitas around 2 a.m. Friday to implement a search warrant issued by a local court.

Confiscated from the village official were three sachets of suspected shabu (crystal meth), a .45-caliber pistol and several rounds of ammunition.

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Barabag, according to Driz, was considered a level two high-value target.

He was included in the so-called “narcolist” of Duterte that was released ahead of last May’s village polls.

Authorities also arrested one Em-em Wenceslao of Poblacion village, who yielded four sachets of shabu; and Private First Class Rhean Baligwat, a member of the Army’s 67th Infantry Battalion, from whom authorities confiscated a handgun, a fragmentation grenade and drug paraphernalia.

Officers also arrested Marjun Generale of Corporacion village and recovered from him four sachets of shabu.

Two suspects—Ruth Petiluna and Baby Shane Palma were able to escape but authorities recovered four sachets of shabu at Palma’s house in Poblacion village, Driz said.

The arrested suspects were now under police custody as charges were being readied against them. /jpv

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