MANILA – A deeper probe is underway to track the cohorts of a poll candidate who was arrested for alleged involvement in illegal drug activities in Midsayap, North Cotabato, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Friday.
In a statement, PNP chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, said this is to determine the scope of the drug activities of suspect Tom Nandang, 52, who is running for mayor of Northern Kabuntalan town in Maguindanao.
“I am reiterating my warning against political aspirants with connections to criminal groups, you will be arrested. The PNP will stop you from using your guns and goons to try to steal the elections from our kababayan (countrymen),” Eleazar said.
He said the arrest is proof of the PNP’s commitment to run after lawless elements, including persons aspiring for elective posts, who will act as peace spoilers during the election period.
“I commend our operatives who carried out this operation for heeding to my call to monitor the illegal drug activities of some erring candidates in order to ensure that drug money will not be used to fund their bid for the 2022 local and national elections. We will not be distracted in our determination to further cripple the operational capability of illegal drugs syndicate in the country,” Eleazar said.
Nandang, also known as Dautkon Nandang, was arrested by members of the police, military, and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in a search warrant operation in Barangay Upper Glad 1 at around 4 a.m. on Thursday.
Nandang yielded 10 huge sachets of shabu worth around PHP5 million and a .45-caliber pistol.
The suspect is under the custody of PDEA while charges for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 are being readied against him. (PNA)