MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Friday, October 6, seized P5 million worth of shabu and a “green book” of alleged drug personalities from the home of Maasim Mayor Aniceto Lopez Jr of Sarangani.
PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said in an interview on dzBB that his team, assisted by the Philippine National Police Special Action Force and the Philippine Army, went to Lopez’s house at 3 am on Friday with 3 search warrants but the mayor was not home.
He said the search yielded one kilo of shabu with an estimated value of P5 million, two firearms, explosives, and flasks and vials believed to be used to manufacture drugs.
“Mukhang nagluluto yata si mayor ng shabu (It looks like the mayor is cooking shabu),” Aquino said.
Authorities also found 100 tablets of suspected Ecstacy, and a “green book” supposedly belonging to Lopez, which proved that he was a “drug lord.”
Aquino said Lopez faces charges of illegal possession of firearms, illegal possession of explosives, and violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.
Not on Duterte’s list
When asked, Aquino said Lopez is not on President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug list.
“Wala po siya sa listahan [ni Pangulong Duterte]. ‘Yan pinagtataka namin dahil matagal na siyang involved sa droga (He’s not in the list of President Duterte. We’ve wondered about that since he had been involved in drugs for quite some time),” he said.
Aquino added that Lopez was also a known drug user.
The PDEA chief that the green book had a list of drug personalities and narcopoliticians, and that each name had a corresponding amount. “It only proves that he is into big-time [drug] pushing. He is a drug lord,” Aquino said.
He volunteered only two names in Lopez’s supposed list – “Parojinog and Espinosa” – referring to the late Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog and the late Albuera Mayor Roland Espinosa Sr of Leyte, both killed in police operations.
Aquino said there were also local chief executives and non-political personalities in the list, but declined to name them, for now.
He said the mayor had sent feelers that he would surrender to authorities around noontime on Friday.
“May nagparating ng information na magsu-surrender siya ngayon, lunch time (We were informed that he will surrender around lunch time),” Aquino said.
Lopez surrendered to his provincemate, Senator Manny Pacquiao, in General Santos City at around 12:30 pm. Pacquiao turned him over to PDEA.
Aquino said Lopez was apparently tipped off about the raid as he and his family members were not at home when his team arrived. The only ones there were the caretakers.
“Nakatunog si mayor sa operation namin….Nagkaroon ng leak. ‘Yun ang aming feeling. Unang-una, influential siya dito sa Sarangani, marami siyang kaibigan (The mayor was tipped about our operation….There was a leak. That’s our feeling. First of all, he’s very influential in Sarangani, he has a lot of friends),” he said. – Rappler.com