PH Drug Enforcement Agency clears a lawmaker and governor relative from drug link

PDEA Director General Isidro S. Lapeña

MANILA–The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency cleared a member of the House of Representative and his governor uncle from any links to illegal drug activities in Northern Samar.

PDEA Region 8 Director Laurefel Gabales said the agency found no evidence linking Northern Samar Rep. Edwin Ong, and his uncle, Northern Samar Governor Jose Ong to illegal drug activities as earlier alleged by the National Democratic Front. He said despite a thorough probe, his men could not find anything that would link the two government officials to illegal drugs.

The NDF-Eastern Visayas, on its website, accused Edwin Ong as the “biggest drug lord” in Northern Samar while he enjoys the support and protection of his uncle, Gov. Jose Ong. Furthermore, the communist led organization said the two officials are responsible for the proliferation of illegal drugs in Northern Samar.

The NDF also alleged the Ongs were using the local police to arrest drug pushers who were not under their protection. The communist group, however, did not cite specific cases or present evidence to back its claim.

Gabales said the accusations against the Ongs were baseless and a rehashed issue. On the contrary, he added, the Ongs are active participants of the PDEA’s anti-illegal drugs campaign.

“In my own personal opinion doon yan sa politics talaga, kasi yung tumakbong governor nitong nakaraang May elections ay dating NDF na pari, pero natalo. I forgot the name. So, yun ang first impression ko, politics talaga. Second, pina-check ko talaga kung may single link ang mga Ong sa illegal drugs, pero wala kaming nakikita,” he added.

Zhou Li Ming escorted by lawmen Photo ©
Li Ming Zhou escorted by lawmen Photo ©

Meanwhile, some P5 million (about US $106,382) worth of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as shabu, was seized from a female Chinese tourist at the Mactan International Airport last July 20, a PDEA belated report said.

Li Ming Zhou, 27, a native of Guanzhou, China had just arrived from Hong Kong when she was apprehended.

PDEA Director General Isidro S. Lapeña said 4,052.1 grams of suspected shabu in 11 brown postal envelopes were found in Zhou’s bag. He added that the illegal substance was concealed inside the walls of her luggage in an apparent bid to hide it from the authorities.

Zhou, Lapeña said, will be charged with violation of Section 4 (Importation of Dangerous Drugs) and Section 5 (Transportation of Dangerous Drugs), Article II of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

With reports from: Nelson Flores, Ll.B.

Rodolfo Andal
Aside for writing for Beyond Deadlines, Rodolfo "Rudy" Andal is also a senior reporter of Pilipino Star Ngayon covering the Malacanang beat, a prized assignment for Philippine based reporters. He started working as journalist in 1989 and is a news stringer of Associated Press and Asahi Shimbun, two of the most prestigious wire services in the world.

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