Cagayan mayor’s son, village chief surrender

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TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan: A son of the mayor and vice mayor of Ballesteros town and a barangay chairman were in the latest batch of drug suspects who have surrendered to the police under “Oplan Tokhang”.

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King Unite, son of Mayor Vincent and Vice Mayor Violeta Unite, voluntarily turned himself in with 39 others who expressed fear for their lives in the wake of a massive anti-illegal drug drive by the authorities.

Ballesteros Police Chief, Senior Insp. Stanley Banan, said the young Unite signed a memorandum of undertaking to help the police identify those behind the proliferation of illegal drugs in the town.

Banan stressed in his report that Unite is only a drug user, contrary to reports that he is one of the drug dealers in the town.

Among those who surrendered was barangay chairman Edmund Uclo of Mabuttal village, and his brother Willy.

Police said that one of the top 10 drug suspects was identified as Arnulfo Uclos (brother of Edmund and Willy), has signified his intention to cooperate in going after illegal drug dealers in the town. He was arrested in an anti-drug operation in 2012, but is out on bail.

Earlier, Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba identified Ballesteros as among the towns in the second district connected with narco-politics.

Mamba even urged Cagayan 2nd District Rep. Aline Vargas-Alfonso, as well as the Vice Gov. Melvin Vargas and Board Member Jeff Vargas, to look into the narco-politics in the district.

But while Mamba welcomed the surrender of drug personalities in the province, he said there is still a need to validate the information as to the extent of their involvement in illegal activities.

“It is not enough that we have good statistics of those surrendering. There is still a need to go down to the bottom of the operation of drug syndicates in their connection with narco-politics,” Mamba said.

Mamba believes that narco-politics in Cagayan has reached the level where politicians are no longer protectors, but also handlers of big time drug syndicates.

“It is too bad that the situation in Cagayan appears that those who are behind illegal drugs claim they are victims,” Mamba said.

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