PDEA-13 warns voters against ‘narco-politicians’

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / Oct) – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Region 13 (PDEA-13) warned voters against “narco-politicians” who will be seeking reelection during the barangay elections on Oct. 28.

PDEA-Caraga Director Erwin Ogario told MindaNews in a phone interview Tuesday that his office has been intensifying campaign against local officials directly or indirectly involved in illegal drug activities in the region.

Ogario, without naming names, said some of these reelectionists are close friends and relatives of known drug personalities who are under their drug watchlist.

“We have been monitoring them. That’s why we ask the support of the public not to vote for these politicians who have been identified as into drug trade,” he said, adding that if these candidates will win again, there is a big possibility that illegal drugs will continue to proliferate in the region.

Ogario assured the public that PDEA-13 is zeroing in on these drug personalities and politicians.

Ogario said they were able to arrest a barangay councilman and his cohort in Rosario town in Agusan del Sur dawn last Saturday. He identified the suspects as Cesar Sangalia Fuentes Jr., 39, a barangay kagawad of Libuac of the said town, and a certain Kim Rendon Chua.

Ogario said that aside from the suspected shabu and paraphernalia, they also seized guns and ammunitions from the suspects.

He appealed to the public to coordinate with them if they have information regarding the involvement of candidates in illegal drug activities.

“We are starting to win the war against illegal drugs. We have the public’s cooperation. We don’t want narco-politics,” Ogario said.