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Ex-Catanduanes solon rapped

SARMIENTO

SARMIENTO

A witness has surfaced and accused former Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento of receiving millions of money allegedly in exchange for the protection of a mega shabu laboratory in the province.

The affidavit of Ernesto Tabor Jr., alias “Entoy,” was used by the Virac, Catanduanes police in filing a case of conspiracy to manufacture prohibited narcotics against Sarmiento before the Department of Justice.

Based on the complaint signed by Virac police chief Police Major Bon Billy Timuat, Sarmiento allegedly received P10 million in April 2016 and another P10 million in August that same year through a former ranking official of the National Bureau of Investigation.

According to Tabor, then NBI Anti-Narcotics head Eric Isidoro reached out to Sarmiento in order to protect a mega shabu laboratory operating in Barangay Palta Small in Virac. The shabu laboratory was dismantled in November 2016 in a police operation.

Sarmiento, who was then reportedly seeking reelection then as Catanduanes representative, and Isidoro are both natives of Virac, according to Tabor.

Isidoro allegedly promised to support the candidacy of Sarmiento during the first meeting in the solon’s house in Virac. A few days after the meeting, the P10 million was allegedly delivered.

The delivery of another P10 million, according to Tabor, occurred sometime in August at the house of Sarmiento in Virac.

Tabor, who claimed that he was with Isidoro during at least three meetings that include the delivery of money, said he did not mention the name of Sarmiento in the investigation before out of fear for his political clout.

Among the reasons he cited that allegedly convinced him that Sarmiento was influential was he was able to bring some congressmen to Virac to conduct investigation on the shabu laboratory and how he berated the policemen who served the search warrant.

Tabor recently disclosed what he knew to the chief of police of Virac, who, in turn, used his affidavit to file charges against Sarmiento. Sarmiento lost in the gubernatorial race during the May 2019 elections. (Aaron Recuenco)

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