By Erwin Beleo
SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – A Pangasinan solon and two La Union mayors who were included in President Rodrigo Duterte’s list of narco-politicians were cleared by the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) of Region 1of any involvement in illegal drug activities.
Based on a RPOC resolution submitted to Malacaňang, members of the RPOC Revalidation Sub-Committee, who were tasked to investigate the narco-politicians in Region 1, unanimously recommended that the names of Mayor Reynaldo Flores of Naguilian town and Mayor Eulogio Clarence Martin De Guzman III of Bauang town, both in La Union, and Pangasinan Representative Jesus Celeste, be deleted in the President’s narco-list.
The Committee’s findings on the names of the three politicians stated that ‘there is no evidence of the target’s involvement in illegal drug activity.’
“Upon deliberation and after intensive examination on the results of the different investigations conducted by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Military Intelligence Group (MIG), National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), this Committee has arrived at the conclusion that the following drug personalities and narco-politicians be recommended for delisting from President Duterte’s narco-list,” read part of the RPOC resolution.
Flores, mentioned by Duterte as a high value target, and De Guzman, were among the four politicians in La Union named in the President’s narco-list. The other two individuals are former Congressman Eufranio Eriguel and Mayor Dante Garcia of Tubao town.
The Committee has declared Eriguel as ‘death under investigation’ after he was assassinated on May 12, 2018 while speaking in a campaign sortie in Agoo, La Union for the Barangay Elections while Garcia’s name was not indicated in the report.
De Guzman was earlier cleared by former PNP Chief Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa during a visit in Bauang recently.
The resolution was signed by Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, RPOC chair Chief Superintendent Romulo Sapitula, RPOC vice chair Bryan Babang, PDEA regional director Lt. Col. Rey Rico, MIG Commander Cherry Tamang, OIC NICA, and James Fadrilan, DILG regional director.