Davao councilor nabbed in drug bust
DAVAO -- A municipal councilor in the town of Braulio E. Dujali in Davao del Norte was arrested by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) - Region 11 in a buy-bust operation Wednesday afternoon.
The suspect was identified as Romulo Esmino Jr.
PDEA operatives recovered a sachet of shabu worth P2,000 from the suspect's store in Purok 6, Barangay Poblacion.
Emerson Rosales, regional director of PDEA-Region 11, said they waited until the election period was over to avoid suspicion that politics is involved in the councilor's apprehension.
Davao del Norte police provincial director Sr. Supt. Samuel Gadingan said authorities had been monitoring the councilor's illegal drug operation.
"Ibig sabihin wala talaga tayong secret cow. Kahit public official ka man, kung iligal ang ginagawa mo, maaaresto ka talaga," Gadingan said.
Esmino denied selling drugs. But he admitted that he had been involved in drug abuse before.
Esmino is facing charges of violation of Section 5 of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Fellow councilors and even locals were shocked with the incident. They described Esmino as a responsible public official.
Some believe Esmino was framed up.
Meanwhile, Dujali town Mayor Lolita Moral is dismayed over the incident, but also challenged to intensify their campaign against illegal drugs.