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Police raid mayor’s house, find no drugs

KORONADAL CITY – Police anti-narcotics agents raided the house of Mayor Albert Palencia of Banga, South Cotabato Thursday and searched his piggery and six vehicles but found no drugs or guns there.

Four caliber .380 bullets, one of which was found in a house in the piggery, was all the raiding team led by Supt. Maximo Sebastian, chief of Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force, could find.

Palencia said he was roused from sleep by the noise of the raiders, who were armed with nine search warrants for firearms and prohibited drugs, as they barged into his home in Barangay Punong Grande at around 3 a.m.

Political rivals have accused Palencia of links to drugs and illegal gambling. The local chief executive has denied the charges.

“I was surprised, but they found no drugs or guns,” Palencia said as he was brought by the raiding team to General Santos City.

Workers at Palencia’s piggery said the raiders asked them where a supposed shabu laboratory was.

“We were told to drop face down,” the caretaker said. “There’s no shabu lab here, what we have are swine and feeds.”

Palencia is the latest Mindanao mayor whose house was been raided by the police.

Over the weekend, police raided the home of Mayor Christopher Cuan of Libungan, North Cotabato. They did not find drugs but seized firearms and ammunition. Anti-drug police also raided the house of Mayor Samsudin Dimaukom of Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao but found nothing. Dimaukom and nine bodyguards were killed recently in what police said was a shootout in Makilala, North Cotabato.

Police are now investigating the incident to determine if it was a shootout or a rubout.

Last month, the homes of two village chiefs in Polomolok, South Cotabato were also raided. (PNA)