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PDEA nabs Comelec official; he squeals

Correspondent .

NARCOTICS agents arrested an official of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Misamis Oriental during an undercover operation in Barangay Iponan, this city, yesterday afternoon.

The suspect allegedly yielded some P100-thousand worth of suspected shabu. His arrest also opened a can of worms after he squealed and allegedly told investigators there were more like him in the Comelec.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Administration (PDEA) agent Ken Cardona identified the suspect as 40-year-old Jose Mari Fernandez of Block 13, Lot 30, Bloomingdale Subdivision in Barangay Iponan, this city.

The suspect is the officer-in-charge of  the Comelec office in Gitagum town in Misamis Oriental.

PDEA agents raided Fernandez’s house and arrested the Comelec official at around 1 pm.

His friend, identified as Clint Pagapulaan, also 40 years and a resident of Mulawan, Barangay Patag, was arrested during a follow-up PDEA operation.

The PDEA said agents seized from Fernandez five sachets of suspected shabu of various sizes and with an estimated street value of P100 thousand.

Cardona said Fernandez cooperated and identified Pagapulaan as the alleged source of the seized substance, prompting narcotics agents to quickly plan and execute another  raid.

The PDEA claimed Pagapulaan yielded a sachet of suspected shabu and a marked money of P1 thousand. Agents also seized his cellphone in the hope of collecting data and evidence.

Cardona said Fernandez revealed the names of other suspects, including those working in the Comelec.

He said the PDEA would validate the information provided by Fernandez, and would check on the people the suspect named.

The suspects were brought to the PDEA headquarters here where they were placed under detention pending the filing of charges.


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