• Ex-Pangasinan town official, 4 others face drug case

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    SAN CARLOS CITY, Pangasinan: The Provincial Prosecutor’s Office here has recommended the filing of criminal charges for possession of prohibited drugs, firearms and ammunition against a former town councilor of Bayambang town, four incumbent barangay (village) chairmen and councilman, including an alleged high value drug dealer on Friday.

    Recommended charged by Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Gil Rosario were former municipal councilor Gerardo “Gerry” de Vera and village chairmen Renato Soriano of Barangay Tamaro, George Balbin of Barangay Nalsian, Gildo Madronio of Barangay San Gabriel 2nd and Eduardo Alcantara of Barangay Beleng.

    The kagawad (councilman) was identified as Mark Monderin of Barangay Malimpuec and an alleged drug dealer, Jose Sandy Gavino.

    Supt. Cirilo Acosta Jr., Bayambang chief of police, said village chairman Roderick Casingal of Barangay Iton remained at large as he was not around when police operatives entered his house.

    Senior Supt. Ronald Oliver-Lee, police provincial director said the suspects were arrested on Thursday based on search warrants issued by the court.

    The prosecutor has recommended P200,000 bail each for Balbin, Madronio, Cayabyab and Alcantara because the quantity of illegal drugs recovered from them is below 10 grams while no bail was recommended for de Vera, Gavino and Soriano as more than 10 grams of shabu were recovered from their houses.

    Casingal will be facing charges of illegal possession of prohibited drugs and drug paraphernalia.

    Lee said the suspects were arrested by a joint police team armed with 10 search warrants as part of the One time Big time project of the Region 1 Director, Chief Supt. Gregorio Pimentel Jr.

    Acosta said the two other subjects of the search warrants were identified as village chairmen Germaine Lee Orcino of Barangay Magsaysay and Rodelito Bautista of Barangay Bani but both yielded no drugs and other illegal items.

    Lee said the suspects are in the list of suspected drug pushers by the provincial police office and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency of Region I after their drug business was exposed by arrested and surrendered pushers and users.

    Meanwhile, Vera claimed the raid on his house was politically motivated. He served as councilor of Bayambang for 14 years and ran for mayor and vice mayor but lost.

    Jaime G. Aquino

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