Cebu News

Dumanjug execs trade drug link claims: Gica versus Garcia

Bryner L. Diaz - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - After trading blame on who was responsible for the attack in Barangay Masa, Dumanjug town, where armed men peppered the vehicle of a vice mayoralty candidate with bullets and shrapnel, the top officials of Dumanjug are now trading accusations about another thing; who is getting money from the drug lords in the town.

Dumanjug Vice Mayor Efren Gica accused Mayor Nelson Garcia of receiving at least P40,000 weekly from the drug lords in Dumanjug.

“Si Mayor Nelson nagdawat sinimana sa drug personalities, huhungihong nagdawat siya’g P40,000 per week,” Gica told members of the media at the Cebu Police Provincial Office headquarters where he went to see CPPO Director Noel Gillamac to ask for a security detail believing there is a threat to his life.

“Kay kung wala siya durogista di gyud siya kadaog diha sa Dumanjug. Pila ray labaw ni Nelson sa 2010 ug sa 2013 nga duha ra akong kapitan paglansar,” he added.

Reacting to Gica’s allegation, Garcia said that it was an irresponsible statement coming from a desperate man.

“And I deny that. Basin siya tingali kaila na niyang mga druglords,” Garcia said.

Garcia said Gica just wanted to divert the issue on the criminal case the latter is facing after the court issued arrest warrant against him.

Gica posted a P40,000 bail last week ahead of the issuance of an arrest warrant in connection with the malversation of public property case filed against him by Garcia. Gica’s arraignment is set for December 14 this year.

Gillamac said that before they can give Gica a security detail they will assess if there is indeed an imminent threat to his life and he will ask the Provincial Intelligence Branch to help him assess the situation.

Gillamac added that they will have to identify if Gica really was the target of the attack or if it was somebody else entirely.

Around 10 armed men allegedly fired at the Pajero of Rene Asentista, the vice mayoralty candidate of Gica, after a consultative meeting in Barangay Masa last Friday. No one was hurt or killed in the incident.

Gica claimed Garcia was behind the attack but the latter said the attack was staged by Gica.

NBI probing attack

Mayor Garcia, accompanied by his father former congressman Pabling Garcia, also went to the National Bureau of Investigation office yesterday to ask they investigate the incident.

NBI Regional Director Ricardo Diaz assured Garcia to look into the incident.

“We are accepting this case and promising to conduct out very own investigation. We are going to the very first day of the incident and proceed on that to determine all the facts and circumstance of this case. We are going to take cognizance of the request,” he said.

Garcia cried foul over the claim of the Dumanjug Police Station chief Arvi Arbuis that the incident was politically motivated. This prompted him to ask Gillamac to relieve Arbuis for allegedly being biased and coming up with a conclusion without looking into the circumstances first.


Criminal complaints were filed before the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor’s Office against three men arrested following the attack.

Dexter James Aniñon, 18, was charged for attempted multiple murder; while Joselito Quirante, 35; and Samuel Villagonzalo, 31, were charged for illegal possession of dangerous drugs, illegal possession of explosives and illegal possession of firearms.

Arbuis said they were arrested after they were identified by witnesses as among the men who launched the attack.  The three have denied allegations against them.

COMELEC waiting for probe

Meanwhile, the Commission on Elections Cebu said they will just wait for the results of the investigation before deciding whether or not to place the town under the Election Watchlist Area.

“It is largely a police or military matter. Sila (NBI and military) ang mag-evaluate kon election-related ba ni, depende sa resulta sa ilang investigation,” said election officer Ferdinand Gujilde.— with Gregg M. Rubio, Michael Vencynth H. Braga, Mylen P. Manto and Friensy G. Larawan, USJ-R Intern/BRP

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