Issue of April 15, 2018

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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19 most wanted, P2–M drugs seized in Benguet in 100 days
by Harley F. Palangchao

The arrest of 19 top most wanted persons facing heinous crimes and destruction of close to P2 million worth of illegal drugs highlighted the major accomplishments of the Benguet Police Provincial Office the past three months.

The accomplishments, which include the recovery and confiscation of 13 firearms and arrest of three suspects, marked the first 100 days of S/Supt. Lyndon Mencio as provincial director of the Benguet police force.

Supt. Tessie Sarmiento, Benguet police information officer, reported that some of the arrested top most wanted are suspects in rape, large-scale estafa, attempted homicide, and frustrated murder, among other crimes.

The latest top most wanted who was arrested for two counts of statutory rape was a 37-year-old farmer, who was collared by police operatives in Loo, Buguias, Benguet on April 6.

Benguet police also launched three successful buy-bust operations that led to the arrest of four drug personalities, including a female suspect in Mankayan.

The provincial police command also uprooted 9,000 pieces of fully grown marijuana plants with a market value of close to P2M during an anti-illegal drug operation in the boundaries of Bakun and Kibungan.

Sarmiento also reported that aside from the 13 firearms confiscated, three suspects were also arrested for illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions.

The operation against loose firearms, Sarmiento said, is one of the preventive measures in ensuring a peaceful and orderly conduct of barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections next month.

The election period will start on April 14 and will end on May 21. The prohibited acts during the election period include carrying or transporting of firearms, or other deadly weapons; transfer or detail of officers and employees in the civil service, including public school teachers; use of bodyguards by candidates and suspension of any elective provincial, municipal or barangay official.

The campaign period will be from May 4 to 12 while campaigning will be prohibited on May 13, the day before the election.

On election day, polling centers will open at 7 a.m.

The last day of filing of statement of election contributions and expenditures for winning and losing candidates will be on June 13.

Benguet police also recovered over 6,000 board feet of logs with a market value of more than P230,000, including two chainsaws and two vehicles used by three suspects.

The suspects will be charged for violation of Presidential Decree 705  or the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines.

Mencio, meanwhile, attributed the successful law enforcement to the continued support of Cordillera police director, C/Supt. Edward Carranza, Benguet Gov. Crescensio Pacalso, the communities and local officials, and various municipal police stations in the province.

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