Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to act on a House committee report pointing to the proliferation of illegal drugs and drug-related killings in Zamboanga del Norte that allegedly involved a political scion in the province.
Zamboanga del Norte 1st district Rep. Seth Frederick Jalosjos on Saturday showed to the Philippine News Agency a copy of the memorandum dated April 23, 2018 of Guevarra, which was addressed to NBI Director Dante Gierran and contained the status of the government’s war of drugs in the province.
Attached in Gueverra’s order to Gierran are copies of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs’ investigation pertaining to the proliferation of illegal drugs and drug-related killings in this province that allegedly involved Governor Roberto Uy, his wife and son, and several police officials.
Uy and his mayor-son, who were invited at the committee hearing sometime last year, categorically denied the allegations.
“These are just all politically motivated,” Uy told the committee.
Guevara’s order came after the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) reported that Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula) now ranks first in barangay “drug affectation” in the country.
At a presentation with local officials in Dapitan City recently, Ricojudge Janvier Echiverri, Justice Assistant Secretary for External and Legislative Affairs, revealed that drug affectation in Region 9’s 1,904 barangays rose to 96.17 percent as of January this year, from 86.29 percent in July last year.
Echiverri added that from being ranked third in July last year, Zamboanga Peninsula has overtaken the National Capital Region’s (NCR) 95.37 percent barangay drug affectation rate from July last year to January this year.
“This data from the DILG and PDEA and the findings of the House (Committee on Dangerous Drugs) investigation of illegal drug trading and killings in Zamboanga del Norte, particularly in Dipolog City and (the Municipality of) Polanco has prompted the (Justice) secretary to initiate the probe,” Jalosjos said.
According to Jalosjos, the committee, which will submit to the plenary its investigation report on Tuesday, found strong indications that the governor; his wife, former Dipolog Mayor Evelyn Tang Uy; and son, former Polanco Mayor Roberto Uy Jr. were involved in the proliferation of illegal drugs and drug-related killings in the province.
Jalosjos, however, conceded that the committee largely relied on the testimonies of brothers Rolly and Roger Daligdig, who are confessed killers and drug pushers.
Rolly Daligdig claimed during the committee hearings last year that he killed at least 14 persons on orders of former Dipolog Police Chief Reynaldo Maclang, allegedly acting on the wishes of the Uys.
The Daligdig brothers are now under the witness protection program of the Department of Justice.
“I’m happy that even before the plenary has adopted the committee report, Justice Secretary Guevarra has already acted on it,” Jalosjos said. (PNA)