Police on Tuesday said self-confessed drug lord Franz Sabalones has divulged information that could put an end to the illegal drugs operation in the Central Visayas.
“He (Sabalones) is the best that we got yesterday. Napakarami nyang binibigay, napakaraming dapat sundan kaya halos malito yung ating mga investigators. Napakaganda yung mga leads and it will be a very fatal blow sa mga drug operations sa kanyang kinasasakupan,” Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) director Chief Superintendent Roel Obusan said in a press conference.
Obusan said Sabalones identified personalities and his protectors from the PNP, but the official declined to provide the names pending the verification of the information.
“Yung mga pangalang nabanggit siyempre they will be subjected to validation and subjected to getting of evidence para naman if that evidence will warrant for a filing of a cases we will file a case,” he said.
Obusan said they started placing Sabalones under questioning right after his presentation to the media on Monday morning, around 10 a.m. and it went on until 11 p.m.
The questioning resumed Tuesday morning, he said.
Sabalones, who became a top drug lord in Central Visayas after the death of Cebu drug kingpin Jeffrey "Jaguar" Diaz, surrendered to PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa on Sunday night and confessed how he led the illegal drugs operations in Central Visayas.
Obusan said they have yet to file a case against Sabalones.
“Hindi pa naman siguro ngayon [kakasuhan] kasi we are trying to digest everything that he has. So yung mga investigative leads that he is giving yun muna ang mga priorities ng opisina and after that we will be filing a case against him,” he said.
“Wala pa siyang kaso, as of now. He is at liberty, as of now, pero sa kanya mismo, parang on his own volition, nandito s'ya sa opisina ngayon. Hindi ko s'ya mapauwi for the reason na marami pa kaming gustong malaman sa kanya,” he added.
Obusan said that according to Sabalones, he feels safer with the police.
Asked if Sabalones will be considered a witness later on, Obusan said they have yet to explore that possibility.
“May mga conditions sa ating batas for a state witness. Kapag mag-qualify s’ya doon pwede siguro but, as of now, I am not toying with the idea,” he said.
Obusan said that aside from Sabalones, another local official made admissions pertaining to the illegal drug activities in his area during questioning with the CIDG. He refused to name the official.
“Yung isang nagkaroon ng admission between sa kanyang question and answer portion. Please huwag n’yo munang kunin kasi it will be an investigative lead for us. We have to pursue yung admission so as to solidify if ever and we can have a very good case against him,” he said.
Obusan, meanwhile, expressed disappointment with the other local officials and personalities who surrendered and have given their judicial affidavit Monday.
“I’m sad to state that most of the mayors and all others that were subjected to investigation gave general denials on their participation and on the proliferation of drugs in their respective areas of responsibilities. They are the chairman of the MADAC (municipal anti-drug abuse council) and the chairman of peace and order council. You have full supervision, operational sa mga pulis, ngayon sasabihin mo wala kang alam,” he said.
“Maraming users, pushers ang nagsurrender sa iyo sabihin mo hindi mo pa rin alam. It does not put sense na hindi mo malalaman kasi even just a curiosity ng isang simple individual aalamin nya kung ano nangyayari sa lugar n'ya. It’s a duty for them. You are the father of the community, meron kang responsiblity to exercise diligence sa nasasakupan mo,” he added.
He said the CIDG will invite the local officials for a second round of questioning.
“This is just the first part of it. After this we will study further the assessment of the teams this morning. We will make another round of Q and A portions. We will call for them again,” he said.
He, however, admitted that they cannot force the local officials to come again. —ALG, GMA News