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Police urge PDEA to file raps vs Surigao Norte gubernatorial bet, 5 others

The provincial police chief of Surigao del Norte has urged the local drug enforcement agency to file charges against a gubernatorial candidate nabbed in a drug buy bust operation in Surigao City last Tuesday.

Senior Superintendent Gilbert Cruz made the appeal to officials of the local Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) after receiving information that those arrested in the buy bust operation were brought here, possibly detained at the PDEA’s provincial headquarters.

Cruz said that charges must be filed immediately against independent gubernatorial bet for Surigao del Norte Ruperto Eludo Deguiño and five others, otherwise PDEA might face a technicality problem later.

Cruz insisted that charges must be filed at the Surigao del Norte Provincial Prosecutors’ Office because the alleged crime was committed in Surigao City .

He admitted that PDEA personnel did not make a courtesy call or inform his office about the buy bust operation.

"What I know is that they went to the Surigao City Police Office and made the buy bust proceedings recorded at the police blotter after the arrest. On whether they made coordination with us before the arrest I don’t know," he said.

When asked why it was PDEA who arrested the suspects and not the local police, he said drug buy bust operations including arrest are left to the PDEA in coordination with the PNP intelligence office.

The Surigao City Police record showed that an independent Surigao del Norte gubernatorial candidate and five others were arrested last Tuesday at about 3:30 p.m.

According to Caraga Police chief for operations Senior Superintendent Nestor Monton Fajura, PDEA agents had the arrest recorded at the Surigao Cty Police Office but allegedly brought the suspects to the PDEA headquarters in Butuan City, more than 120 kilometers from Surigao City.

Surigao City Mayor Alfonso Casurra confirmed there was such an arrest of six people on M. Ortiz St. in Barangay New Washington in the afternoon of March 23.

Cruz identified five other companions of Deguiño as Ricardo Ecleo alias Kayoy, Arlinda Ecleo alias Nene, Glen Sykimte, Jose Cariaga and Jenelyn Noriega.

He did not indicate whether the Ecleos in the group were relatives of the Ecleo political clan in the island of province of Dinagat.

The suspects yielded white powdered substance believed to be shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride), four mobile phones, marked money cash P1,000.00, two digital weighing scale, Swiss knife and other drug paraphernalia.

Attempts to contact PDEA Caraga regional director Atty Joel Quiriones for comments have all failed since Wednesday. — BS/LBG/RSJ, GMANews.TV

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