COTABATO CITY: South Cotabato Judge Lorenzo Balo of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 26 on Friday went to the Banga Police Station to verify reports that detained town Mayor Albert Palencia was being given special treatment by the police.
Balo said he received reports that Palencia, arrested by police anti-drug unit in his house on Thursday, was getting special treatment from the town’s police officers.
The judge said he found the mayor reading a tabloid newspaper inside the jail with only an electric fan and a pillow in his detention cell.
“No special treatment so far, he was like any other detainee,” Balo said.
However, Palencia was alone in a detention cell that is separate from other detainees. The mayor is awaiting resolution of his petition to post bail for the case of illegal possession of ammunition and explosives before Balo’s sala.
Members of the Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (RAIDSOTF) on November 3 raided Palencia’s house in Barangay Punong Grande in Banga, South Cotabato and seized several firearms and ammunition.
Supt. Maximo Sebastian, RAIDSOTF chief, believes the mayor was tipped off about the raid to be conducted.
According to the police, Palencia is in the list of President Rodrigo Duterte’s second batch of narco-politicians.