Judge on Duterte drug list resigns from post in Siargao
SURIGAO CITY – A local magistrate implicated in President Rodrigo Duterte’s list of illegal drugs personalities has resigned.
Ezekiel Dagala said he tendered his “irrevocable” resignation before Supreme Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez on August 8.
“I decided to resign my office after conferring with the office of the Supreme Court administrator,” Dagala, a municipal trial court judge in Dapa town in Siargao Island, said in an interview with local radio station dxKS-RPN.
Dagala said he hopes his resignation would dispel suspicion of partiality in any investigation that the government may conduct regarding his alleged involvement in the drug trade. Dagala vehemently denied any links to illegal drugs, saying his income was barely enough to sustain the needs of his family.
He said he was open to any lifestyle check. The former magistrate, however, admitted owning a “small island” off Del Carmen town in Siargao, which he said was bought years ago for around P40,000.
The island in question became a source of conflict between the magistrate and the local police early this week after Dagala accused the chief of police, Inspector Audrey Rose Rivero, of conducting a raid in the area without court warrant.
Named Isla Verde, the island is rife with rumors among locals who say it hosted a drug laboratory, while others identified it as a hub of unspecified criminal activities. Rivero, however, denied they raided the area, saying they had only conducted routine inspection after reports of a shooting incident there.
The Inquirer tried to reach Dagala through an intermediary but he declined, saying he will “eventually surface to clear my name.” He also suggested that President Duterte’s list was incomplete, saying it lacked the names of the “real drug personalities” in Siargao and Surigao del Norte. CDG/rga
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