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Mayor surrenders relatives on drug list

DATU PAGLAS, MAGUINDANAO – Datu Paglas mayor Datu Mohamad ‘Thong’ Paglas has successfully convinced seven of his relatives reportedly involved in drugs to surrender to authorities.

Paglas facilitated the surrender of the suspected drug personalities who were turned over to the regional office of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in Cotabato City.

The suspected drug personalities were identified as Daud Pendatun, a resident of Salipada K. Pendatun town, Glen Yousse Piang, of Buluan, Maguindanao, Al-Ahmir Lugioman, Al-Muidz Lugioman, both residents of Mangudadatu town, Allen, Piang, Odin Piang, and Parhaisa Paglas, all of Paglas town.

Paglas said he personally asked their relatives to surrender after he received the information that they were tagged as among the high-value drug targets operating in Maguindanao province.

“I personally asked them to surrender and clear their names before they will be subjected to drastic arrest during anti-drug operations,” Paglas said.

Paglas said he is not condoning the involvement of his relatives in the illegal drug trade.

He assured the authorities that he will personally monitor the activities of his relatives to ensure that they will not resume their involvement in drugs.

Meantime in Cebu, police operatives arrested Roderic James Espina, 54, the only child of the late Maasin Mayor Edgarino Espina, in his rented room at Allsons Inn in Barangay Lorega during an illegal drug operation.

Espina, who allegedly bragged to pension house staff about his link with drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, had been staying in the place since February, paying R19,000 monthly rate.

An employee of Allsons Inn got suspicious as Espina refused to let housekeeping staff enter his room since February.

After receiving the tip from the employee, the police immediately conducted an operation by renting a room next to Espina’s.

Police eventually arrested Espina as he was about to leave the room where authorities later on discovered one plastic bag of marijuana, a sachet of shabu, assorted drug paraphernalia, .45 caliber pistol, and a .22 caliber revolver.

Espina, a grandfather to four children, admitted he had been a drug user since he was 18 but recently planned to surrender to the police. The police later learned that Espina had an arrest warrant for frustrated murder.
(With a report from Mars W. Mosqueda, Jr.)