TWO congressmen are among the public officials included in President Rodrigo Duterte’s “narco-list,” Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said Tuesday.
In a news conference, Alvarez said he is convinced that one of them, an unnamed lawmaker from Mindanao, was acting as a protector of the illegal drug trade.
“The list given to me was validated; which means it passed through several government agencies for validation. But on my part, I am still double checking it,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez declined to name the two lawmakers, however, and said he would speak to them first.
Others on the list are governors, mayors, judges and prosecutors, he said.
Earlier, Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, chairman of the House committee on dangerous drugs, urged President Duterte to name the mayors who are allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade.
Barbers advised guilty mayors not to take lightly the warning of President Duterte for them to resign or die.
Earlier, the President said he would kill mayors who protect syndicates selling or making shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride).
Also on Tuesday, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency filed a graft complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman against two Pampanga mayors over the illegal sale of 4,038 pigs confiscated during a raid of an underground shabu laboratory on Sept. 7, 2016.
The agency was represented by Wilkins Villanueva, PDEA-National Capital Region director, in the filing of the complaint against Mayors Ma. Lourdes Lacson of Magalang and Jose Ma. Hizon of Bacolor, both in Pampanga.
Also tagged in the complaint were the town’s treasurer Raissa Bayani, assessor Adela Tanhueco, engineer Jesus Nataniel Pili, business permits and licensing officer Ryan Miranda and agriculturist Milagros Suing.
“The sale of the entire hogs is without any legal basis. The PDEA and the proper court were not even informed of such disposition,” the complaint read.
The agency invoked a provision in the Dangerous Drugs Act citing “no property, or income derived therefrom, which may be confiscated and forfeited, shall be disposed, alienated or transferred.”
PDEA slammed Lacson for selling the pigs to a lone bidder, the Pampanga’s Best Food Corp. belonging to the latter’s family for only P7 million.
“The pigs were sold at a very cheap price as if these were just give-aways. We can smell conspiracy among those involved. The notice of auction was posted on a Sunday, but the actual bidding immediately took place the following day participated by early Monday by the lone bidder, who was not even from Magalang [town],” Villanueva said.
Based on the complaint, Lacson was informed that the confiscated pigs were already dying, prompting her to issue an executive order to bid out the 4,038 pigs.
The auction notice was posted on Sept. 11, 2016, and the next day, Hizon, representing his family-owned Pampanga’s Best Food Corp., took part in the bidding.
The Bacolor municipal government issued Magalang town a P7-million check the following day.
Each pig was sold for only P1,733 without PDEA’s consent, Villanueva said.
He said the agency learned about the sale of the hogs through the news.
The P7 million was turned over to the court when PDEA filed charges against the respondents.
PDEA agents raided an underground shabu laboratory within an isolated four-hectare pig farm in Sitio Kabayong Sarul, Barangay San Ildefonso, Magalang in Pampanga on Sept. 7, 2016.
Seven Chinese were arrested during the raid.
The facility, Jay Wong Hog Farm, was a research-and-development laboratory for shabu operated by an international drug syndicate, Villanueva said.
Those arrested were identified as Alvin Wang, 41; Philip Chang, 31; Wang Shi You, 42; Lieu Wang, 28; Susan Wang; Xia Po Chang, and Sonny At, 48. All were from Xiamen, China.
The pigs were turned over to the local police, who then turned them over to the Magalang local government. With Rio N. Araja
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by manilastandard.net readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandard.net. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.