Friday, April 19, 2013

Narco politics in Philippines

A top official of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Thursday confirmed the existence of "Narco politics" involving known political personalities in Northern Mindanao.

PDEA regional director Emerson Margate said there are incumbent government officials who are now the object of PDEA's intensive surveillance.

Margate made the disclosure following the conviction by a regional court here of Geodeguil Ursal, a member of the provincial board in Misamis Oriental, to life imprisonment for violation of the anti-drug laws.

"Ursal was an example of 'narco-politics' because in the first place Ursal was an incumbent government official while at the same time found engaged in illegal drugs," Margate said.

He said based on information gathered, Ursal already sold illegal drugs amounting to P 2 million in December 2010 prior to his arrest in a buy-bust operation in October 2011.

Margate said Ursal was the highest government official arrested and convicted for violation of the anti-drug laws in Northern Mindanao.

He said that the PDEA has a list of top government officials engaged in "narco-politics" in the region.

According to Margate, these officials have already established linkages in the region and are now being watch closely.