Cotabato state college president charged for keeping guns, shabu inside campus

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 19 June) – The provincial prosecutor in North Cotabato has found probable cause to indict a state college president for allegedly keeping unlicensed firearms and illegal drugs in his staff house inside campus in Arakan municipality discovered by authorities during a raid last January.

Dr. Samson Molao with North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza in 2013. Photo courtesy of the North Cotabato provincial website

Charged was Dr. Samson Molao, president of the Cotabato Foundation College for Science and Technology (CFCST). Several high-powered firearms – including AK-47, M16 and M14 rifles – and P500,000 worth of shabu were reportedly found in his house by personnel of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Molao was not in his residence during the raid, and has gone on a yearlong study leave upon getting approval from the college’s board of trustees last March.

Also included in the charge sheet were Anwar Maulana alias Astron, Gerry Miclat, and a certain Jojo Gaspar, all employees of the CFCST, according to the decision signed by provincial prosecutor Bonifacio Estremos.

The prosecution found enough evidence or probable cause to charge Molao and his staff for violating Section 6, Article II of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, and Section 28 (b) of RA 10591 or the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition.

“A qualifying circumstance is present in this case, respondent Molao being a government official,” said the prosecution.

The decision was signed last May 11 but was made available to media only on Tuesday.

“A review of the case reveals sufficient evidence to engender a well-founded belief that the Molao Drug Syndicate has maintained and operated the President’s cottage, which has been searched by virtue of search warrants, as a drug den for the storage, distribution, and selling of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride or otherwise known as ‘shabu’,” the decision said.

It added that the complainants presented several witnesses to testify that such report was “well founded.”

“In fact, there were at least three ‘test buys’ that a certain police officer transacted with the respondents and the surveillance made afterwards,” it said.

During the raid, PDEA personnel seized from Molao’s men several firearms, all lacking pertinent legal papers, and at least 114 grams of shabu.

The local court said Molao and his staff are given 15 days to submit their counter-affidavit.

Shortly after the raid in January, lawyer Israelito Torreon lambasted PDEA operatives for abusing the search warrant when they arrested CFCST employees. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)