Cops validate narco links of four village officials

Police Major Reynante Jomocan (right), head of Police Station 4; and Police Lieutenant Colonel Ariel Pico (2nd from left), public information officer of Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO), along with Police Lieutenant Melvin Mercado, supervisor of Field Training Program (FTP) hold a press briefing at the police station today regarding the update on the case of slain Barangay 2 Kagawad Romeo Canlas Jr. (Glazyl Y. Masculino Photo)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – The Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) is validating reports of the alleged links of four barangay officials here to the illegal drug trade.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Ariel Pico, public information officer of BCPO, said yesterday that the reports came from some concerned citizens in the villages since last year.

He, however, refused to tell the positions and identities of the village officials, pending validation of their background.

Pico said once the reports are validated, they will subject the barangay officials to Oplan Tokhang to persuade them to surrender to the authorities.

“Wala man ta sang may gina-akusaran diri. We cannot just speculate anything. But, it’s up for them to surrender and totally change their ways,” Pico said, as he appealed to them to submit themselves to any police unit as early as possible.

Pico said their lives might be in danger if they continue with their illegal activities since the war on drugs is the priority of the present administration.

Although police have earlier said that slain Barangay 2 Kagawad Romeo Canlas Jr. was in the drugs watchlist of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Pico maintained that they will check and validate reports about his alleged drug link.

Pico said they will also tap the PDEA regarding the validation process.

Canlas was killed by six unidentified armed men at the house of another councilman at Barangay 26 here last Saturday. Police have no lead yet on the identities of the perpetrators.

Police are eyeing drugs, old grudge, and politics as possible angles behind the killing.