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A barangay chairman in Talisay City in Cebu province faces a string of charges over allegations he played mahjong instead of assisted government agents in a recent anti-drug operation.
The National Bureau of Investigation lodged three complaints against Barangay Bulacao chairman Raul Cabañero, GMA Cebu reported Tuesday.
Cabañero now faces charges of illegal gambling, obstruction of justice and violation of Article 233, or refusal to assist a law enforcement operation.
"Oo, refuse without valid reason to perform his functions, which is to assist us in the conduct of inventory," said NBI agent Larry Dominguez.
Dominguez was referring to a recent anti-drug operation that led to the arrest of six people in a drug den.
But Cabañero's camp said this was all a case of miscommunication.
"Our main concern is really to facilitate the ... release of my client, considering he has health problems. It is our priority that we will be out of the detention cell as soon as possible. So the first thing we did is to make sure ... we can post bail, knowing the case filed against him is actually bailable," Cabañero's lawyer Julius Entise said.
Meanwhile, NBI Central Visayas assistant regional director Dominador Cimafranca said this should be a lesson to other officials.
"They should do it, it is mandated by law na present sila," he said.
On the other hand, the NBI is investigating allegations that the subject of the anti-drug operation was a relative of Cabañero, which could be why he did not help.
"We are determining on that because there are allegations according sa mga kapitbahay at mga concerned citizen," Cimafranca said. — Joel Locsin/VC, GMA News