Noemi Agcaoili talks to media on May 3, 2018 to deny allegations she was involved in the illegal drug trade after her name was included in President Duterte’s narco list.
Michael Varcas
Politics, drugs eyed in kagawad’s slay
Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - February 26, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Investigators are looking at politics and illegal drugs as among the possible motives in the murder of the only barangay official in Quezon City who was included in President Duterte’s narco list.

Brig. Gen. Ronnie Montejo, Quezon City Police District (QCPD) director, said they are not discounting the possibility that the killing of Noemi Agcaoili is related to her job as kagawad or councilor of Barangay Bagong Lipunan ng Crame.

“Yung trabaho nya sa pagiging kagawad. Pangalawa ‘yung sa pamilya niya (Her job as councilor. The second is her family),” the police official said in an interview.

Another angle that probers are looking into was Agcaoili’s reported links to the illegal drug trade, which resulted in her inclusion in the President’s drug list.

“We are also considering that,” Montejo said.

Asked if there are new intelligence reports linking Agcaoili to illegal drugs, Montejo said he has yet to receive an update from their investigators.

He added that he is waiting for the recommendation of the QCPD’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit before deciding if there is a need to form a special investigation task group.

Agcaoili was shot by two assailants on a motorcycle at her house along Boni Serrano Road at around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Her husband rushed her to the Cardinal Santos Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

Despite her suspected involvement in illegal drugs, Agcaoili was reelected barangay councilor in the 2018 local elections.

In Manila, police investigators are also eyeing the illegal drug trade in the killing of pedicab driver Jack Balamiento, 43, on Sunday night.

Initial reports said Balamiento was sitting in his vehicle in front of a water refilling station when two men on a motorcycle shot him several times at around 10:35 p.m.

He was declared dead on arrival at the Mary Johnston Hospital.

No one who witnessed the murder wanted to talk, but Balamiento’s brother, Anthony, said he repeatedly warned the victim against being involved in the illegal drug trade in the area but his advice fell on deaf ears.

Meanwhile, alleged drug pusher Allan Varga was arrested in a sting in Barangay Concepcion, Malabon before dawn yesterday.

Police confiscated 45 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu valued at P306,000 from Varga.

Five suspected pushers were arrested and over P400,000 worth of shabu were seized in separate stings in Quezon City and Valenzuela over the past two days.

Vivian Embesan, 36, was arrested in Barangay Apolonio Samson, Quezon City at around 1 a.m. yesterday while her alleged accomplice, Paul Orpilla, 37, was caught in Barangay Gen. T. de Leon, Valenzuela at around 11 p.m. Monday.

Police confiscated around 25 grams of shabu with a street value of P170,000 from them.

Abdul Fatah Datudacullah, 38, and his wife Sittienor, 37, were caught in Barangay Bagong Pag-asa in Quezon City and P170,000 worth of shabu seized from them on Monday night.

Jennifer Abella, 46, was arrested in Barangay Balon Bato for allegedly carrying 15 grams of shabu valued at P102,000 on her person.

In Pasay, Renato Zapanta, 61; Lucrecio Puala, 57, and Cristina Bartolome, 37, were arrested in a sting on Monday night. Police seized around 16.6 grams of shabu valued at P112,780 from them. – With Rey Galupo, Marc Jayson Cayabyab, Ralph Edwin Villanueva

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