Existence of narcopolitics in Cebu being investigated-A A +A
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
POLICE Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Marcelo Garbo Jr. revealed that some political candidates may be resorting to violence to win.
During a press briefing yesterday, he said they are trying to determine if narcopolitics exists in some areas in the province after they neutralized the Boyet Ariva group, which was allegedly involved in drug trafficking and gun-for-hire.
Police arrested Francisco Ariva, the group leader, and two members. Five other members, however, were killed in simultaneous raids in Consolacion and Mandaue City last week.
Garbo said other members of the group were caught last November inside a pension house in Alegria town.
“Yes, ginamit sila (some politicians hired them). They divulged this to us. But, we are still validating this,” he said.
Ariva, in a separate interview, said a member of a law enforcement agency helped them smuggle guns.
“This is also the subject of our deeper investigation,” Garbo said.
Another politician allegedly hired the services of Elmer Isok, a suspected hitman who reportedly worked for Ariva.
Isok, 24, was arrested last Friday in Barangay Tulo-tulo, Consolacion after he allegedly beheaded and killed his cohort.
Isok was allegedly one of the three men responsible for the death of PO2 Alfred Datu.
Isok is also the subject of a complaint of Consolacion Mayor Teresa Alegado.
“She told us that she was tailed by the suspect before. She added that her activities were also being surveyed,” Garbo said.
This prompted Garbo to check if some politicians are getting financial support from drug syndicates so when they win the election, the groups are ensured of protection.
“We will look into all areas in Central Visayas to ensure a safe election this year,” he said, adding there are still a lot of armed criminal groups operating in the region.
“We want to reduce this because PRO 7 is the number one tourist destination in the country,” Garbo said.
Peace pacts, dialogues
When asked if he has any message for politicians who resort to violence, he said they must be professional. “They must abide by the Comelec (Commission on Elections) rules on the matter of campaigning,” Garbo said.
Peace covenants will be implemented and dialogues will be held between opposing parties to stop the tension in the election, he added.
Mayor Alegado earlier said someone has been following her.
Although she didn’t mention any names, she pointed to her political enemies as being behind this.
She was told that an unidentified man had been tailing her. Three days ago, habal-habal drivers tipped them off that they’ve seen a man hanging out in the street near the Alegado residence.
“Compiansa ra man ko kay wa man koy kontra (I’m confident that no harm would come to me since I don’t have any enemies),” she told Sun.Star Cebu. “Babaye baya ko.
Rosaryohan, novena ug St. Michael Archangel ra ang akong armas (I’m a woman. I’m only armed with a rosary, the novena and St. Michael Archangel),” Alegado said.
She said she and her family heaved a sigh of relief last Saturday night when police arrested the man suspected of trying to harm her.
Alegado is facing former mayor Avelino Gungob in the mayoral election in May.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 26, 2013.