Paro­jinog drug ring co-founder falls

The Philippine Star - - NATION - By EVA VISPERAS

CAMP FLORENDO – A sus­pected co-founder and two al­leged mem­bers of a drug ring based in Oza­miz were ar­rested in San Fer­nando, La Union on Mon­day.

Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Ro­mulo Sa­pit­ula, Ilo­cos po­lice di­rec­tor, iden­ti­fied the sus­pects as Manuelito Fran­cisco, 57; his wife and Oza­miz City Councilor Riza­lina, 54, and their son June, 31, alias Om­boy, a for­mer barangay chair­man of San Roque also in Oza­miz.

Sa­pit­ula said the sus­pects, who were in a Toy­ota In­nova, were pulled over at a check­point in Barangay Bang­cusay.

Their ar­rest was based on a war­rant is­sued on Feb. 6 by Oza­miz Re­gional Trial Court Branch 15 Judge Ed­mundo Pin­tac for il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of ex­plo­sives.

“Manuelito is al­legedly a co-founder of the Paro­jinog/ Ku­ra­tong Bale­leng Group, a group be­lieved to be in­volved in rob­bery, ex­tor­tion and il­le­gal drugs among oth­ers,” Sa­pit­ula said.

The sus­pects re­port­edly left their home in Oza­miz af­ter Mayor Rey­naldo Paro­jinog and 14 oth­ers were killed in si­mul­ta­ne­ous raids on their res­i­dences in July last year.

Sa­pit­ula com­mended po­lice op­er­a­tives for the ar­rest of the sus­pects even as he urged them to re­main vig­i­lant to ar­rest crim­i­nals hid­ing in Ilo­cos.

“Let us en­hance our in­tel­li­gence-shar­ing as it pro­vides a start­ing point for a crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion and sub­se­quent pros­e­cu­tion,” he said.

The sus­pects were brought to the San Fer­nando po­lice sta­tion for turnover to the court.

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