Drug war: Abra mayor, councilor surrender
(The Philippine Star) - July 21, 2016 - 12:00am

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, Philippines – A town mayor and a councilor in Abra suspected of involvement in the illegal drug trade have surrendered.

Police said Manabo town Mayor Darell Damasing, 37, and San Juan Councilor Generoso Bose, 54, were among those who recently surrendered under Oplan Tokhang.

Domasing is a member of the National Unity Party while Bose is a member of the Liberal Party. Like all suspected drug pushers and self-confessed users who have surrendered, the officials signed an oath of undertaking to stop their illegal activities and cooperate with the police in identifying members of drug rings operating in their areas.

Manabo Vice Mayor Bruno Domingo Jr. reportedly witnessed the signing of the oath.

Damasing and Bose are the first local officials to surrender as President Duterte vowed to name local officials involved in illegal drugs. 

On July 5, various guns, ammunition and drug paraphernalia were seized during a raid on the house of former Langiden mayor Noel Castillo in Bangued.

In Iloilo, former Dueñas town mayor Pio Pama surrendered on Sunday.

Inspector Ronald Paclibar, town police chief, said Pama claimed he was not involved in illegal drugs and only wanted to clear his name.

Pama admitted using drugs, but said he had stopped for more than a year now.

As this developed, a Quezon City police officer who was linked to illegal drugs has surrendered to Chief Inspector Daniel Solas of the Baao, Camarines Sur police.

Solas said the police officer, whom he did not identify, admitted that he is a drug user.

15 more killed

Meanwhile, 15 more drug suspects were killed yesterday and on Tuesday across the country.

Eleven were killed in alleged shootouts with police in separate anti-drug operations, two were found dead and two gunned down by unidentified men.

Senior Superintendent Benjamin Silo, Bataan police director, identified two of the suspects killed in separate stings as Pablo Mejia and Erwin Tallada.

Amado de la Cruz, 34, a resident of Barangay Tambubong in San Rafael town and Cecilio Elardo, alias Balot, of Barangay Sta. Rosa in Marilao, Bulacan, were killed in firefights with anti-drug operatives, said Senior Superintendent Romeo Caramat, Bulacan police director.

The other slain suspects have yet to be identified.

In Ilocos Sur, Eduardo Galigaro, 28, alias Dugal, was shot dead by unidentified men in Barangay Suagayan in Sta. Lucia town. 

Chief Inspector Greg Guerrero, Ilocos Sur police spokesman, said Galigaro was on the watchlist of the Candon City police.

In Pangasinan, the bodies of two women were found in Binalonan and Manaoag towns. Their hands were bound with packing tape and they bore placards identifying them as drug pushers.

Top drug suspects

In Isabela, two top drug suspects and their two companions were arrested during a raid on a suspected drug den in Barangay Guibang in Gamu town on Tuesday. ?

John Steven Solomero, 24, was having a pot session with Shayma Sulayman, 18; Beverly Ullmann, 24, and Janet Teel, 37, when they were collared.

The suspects allegedly yielded 10 sachets of shabu, drug paraphernalia and P12,000 in cash. ?

Senior Inspector George Maribbay, Gamu police chief, said Solomero is the most wanted drug suspect in Isabela while Ullmann was ranked 10th.

In Benguet, Ernesto Abideo was arrested during a raid on his house in Sitio Padayawan in Barangay Kayapa in Bakun town over the weekend.

Agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency seized 15,000 grams of dried marijuana leaves and 3,000 grams of marijuana seeds with an estimated value of P2.025 million.

Thaddeus Ras, 45, was arrested and several sachets of suspected shabu worth P250,000 were recovered during a sting in Barangay Francisco in Malilipot, Albay.

As this developed, the number of self-confessed drug users and suspected pushers who have surrendered has ballooned to 26,564 in Bicol; 16,000 in the Negros Island Region; 14,175 in Eastern Visayas and 3,439 in Pangasinan. – With Mike Frialde, Rafael Viray, Raymund Catindig, Ric Sapnu, Celso Amo, Francis Elevado, Jun Elias, Jennifer Rendon, Eva Visperas, Romina Cabrera, Miriam Garcia Desacada

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