No ‘tanim-droga’ scheme, says Mabalacat Police; libel suit readied vs. fake crusader

MABALACAT CITY — The Mabalacat City Police led by Police Chief Superintendent Juritz Baldovi Rara is set to file a libel suit against businesswoman Pyra Lucas.

Lucas, a resident of Barangay Cacutud here is accusing the Mabalacat police operatives of planting methamphetamine or ‘shabu’ as evidence to arrested drug pushers and users.

“It is saddening that there are groups who are protecting these drug users/pushers instead of helping the government on the fight against drugs,” according to Drug Enforcement Unit Head Senior Inspector Melvin Florida Jr., who was also relieved from the station together with Rara.

This, after the previously arrested drug user and peddler known as “Lando” (said to be a nephew of Lucas) appealed to the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) Pampanga saying he was a victim of ‘tanim-droga’ (illegal drug planting).

Lando and five other drug personalities, who were arrested on April 20 in a buy bust operation in Barangay Dau, test positive for methamphetamine after the confirmatory testing conducted by the Regional Crime Laboratory.

Charges were filed against the complainant but the Regional Trial Court dismissed the case without an arraignment.

Moreover, the Association of Barangay Council Chairman and Barangay Dau Chief Dr. Oscar Aurelio affirmed that Lando was among the 247 individuals who have surrendered and have admitted of using and selling ‘shabu’ dated October 28, 2016.

“These individuals complaining on the anti-illegal drugs campaign of the Mabalacat police are positively identified as drug personalities.

Their village chiefs certified they are involved in drugs and have been receiving complaints from their constituents,” Florida added.

In an interview aired in GMA 7 news program ’24 Oras’ on May 11, 2017, Lando said Florida has threaten to kill him.

Lucas, who happens to be the Pampanga Coordinator of VACC, stressed that ‘tanim-droga’ is behind Mabalacat City police’s anti-illegal drugs accomplishments.

The Mabalacat City police said Lucas’ actions were politically motivated and baseless.

Lucas, a losing mayoralty candidate in 2016 local elections, was declared ‘persona non grata’ or unacceptable person through a resolution passed by the Sangguniang Panlungsod in 2016.

Lucas was also facing 58 counts of libel (14 counts by Vice Mayor Christian Halili and four counts each by the 11 councilors) for tagging the city officials led by Mayor Marino Morales as protectors of drug pushers.

The Mabalacat Councilors who lodged 58 counts of libel described Lucas as a “fake crusader.”

Moreover, the local officials here turned over the Resolution No. 25 Series of 2017 commending the landmark accomplishments of the Mabalacat City police on anti-criminality and anti-illegal drugs.

The Mabalacat police has already arrested 116 drug users and 181 pushers in the city from September 12, 2016 to April 26, 2017.
A weekly presentation of arrested drug dependents to the local execs is also being conducted by Florida.

From July 1, 2016 up to May 12, 2017, police reports stated 177 operations were conducted wherein 378 were arrested and four were neutralized.

This also resulted to arrest of eight out of the top 10 drug personalities in Mabalacat City. The arrested were Mark Solomon (2nd most wanted), Antonio Patawaran (3rd), Aris Muldong (5th), Angelito Rivera (6th), Macromar Cruz (7th), Olivia Waje (8th), Jayson Waje (9th) and Rosella Fajardo (10th).

The reformation center dubbed as ‘Bahay Pagbabago’ manned by the police authorities have produced 60 graduates and are now non-dependent with drugs. The reformists have undergone a one-month rehabilitation through the support of the city government. They were provided with free of charge meals, livelihood training skills, and physical, psychological and spiritual development program.

Rara has also reported that crime volume in Mabalacat City has decreased by 23 percent based on the comprehensive crime report in the 3rd quarter of 2016.The police report indicated that from July to September 2016, only 386 (56.39%) incidents of crime had been reported compared to the 544 (79.48%) posted in the same period last year.

The Mabalacat City police remains committed to the vision and mission of the Philippine National Police to become highly capable, effective and credible police service working in partnership with a responsive community towards the attainment of a safer place to live, work and do business.