Alcala, top Quezon drug suspect, yields

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QUEZON DRUG KINGPIN? Cerilo “Athel” Alcala (seated, right) faces members of the press after he and son Shajid (second from left) turn themselves in to the Lucena Police Station. They were escorted by relatives Roderick Alcala, mayor of Lucena and Quezon Rep. Vicente Alcala. Athel, brother of former Agriculture secretary Proceso Alcala, is allegedly the top man in the illegal drug trade in Quezon province. Athel and his son Shajid were out on bail for an arrest over a drug offense in 2008. PHOTO BY BELLY M. OTORDOZ

QUEZON DRUG KINGPIN? Cerilo “Athel” Alcala (seated, right) faces members of the press after he and son Shajid (second from left) turn themselves in to the Lucena Police Station. They were escorted by relatives Roderick Alcala, mayor of Lucena and Quezon Rep. Vicente Alcala. Athel, brother of former Agriculture secretary Proceso Alcala, is allegedly the top man in the illegal drug trade in Quezon province. Athel and his son Shajid were out on bail for an arrest over a drug offense in 2008. PHOTO BY BELLY M. OTORDOZ

LUCENA, Quezon: The elusive Cerilo “Athel” Alcala and his son surfaced on Sunday and submitted themselves to the police, the latest high-profile drug suspects to yield in the Duterte administration’s war against illegal drugs.

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The Alcalas are politically well-connected—the two were accompanied by Athel’s brother, Quezon Rep. Vicente Alcala and nephew Roderick Alcala, the mayor of Lucena.

Athel and Vicente are brothers of Proceso Alcala, Agriculture secretary under the previous Aquino administration.

The Lucena mayor himself ordered the arrest of his uncle four days ago.

Athel is on top of the watch list of illegal drug suspects in Quezon and is said to have supplied drugs to the entire province for more than a decade, with central Quezon as base.

Athel, 59, and his son, Shajid, 36, showed up at the police station, after sending surrender feelers. Athel said he stopped his illegal activities a long time ago.

The Quezon Police chief, Sr. Supt. Antonio Yarra, told reporters Athel surrendered because of the efforts of Mayor Alcala and Representative Alcala.

Yarra said father and son were both “high-value targets” in the police watch list of illegal drug suspects.

Athel has a bench warrant for failure to appear in court hearings. Shajid, said Yarra, had no warrant of arrest.

Athel and Shajid were both arrested in September 2008 in a major drug bust by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency at their ancestral home in Barangay Cotta.

Cases for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act were filed against them but they were able to post a P1.5-million bail.

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