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Ex-Army surrenders to PDEA; bares drug links of Surigao pols

MANILA, Philippines–A former Army soldier who worked as driver-bodyguard to some members of the Matugas political clan in Surigao del Norte for years has surrendered to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to reveal his participation and personal knowledge on the involvement of politicians in illegal drug trafficking in the province.

Jesusito “Nitoy” Bayang, in a signed affidavit taken at the PDEA main office on Friday (May 10), identified several names of politicians allegedly involved in the drug trade in Surigao del Norte.

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Because of his personal participation and vast knowledge in the illegal drug activities in Surigao del Norte, Bayang said the Matugases became suspicious of him. He said he opted to go into hiding after learning that some alleged hired killers were out to silence him.

 

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Bayang tagged those involved in illegal drugs in Surigao del Norte as former 1st District Rep. Jose Francisco “Bingo” Matugas; Dapa, Siargao Vice-Mayor Francisco “Jun Jun” Gonzales; Del Carmen town Vice Mayor Alfredo “JR” Matugas Coro; former Del Carmen councilor and Judge Exequiel Degala, his brother Del Carmen councilor Jose Bayang and their alleged henchmen.

Bingo Matugas is the son of incumbent Surigao del Norte Gov. Sol Matugas and Surigao del Norte 1st District Rep. Francisco “Lalu” Matugas and Bayang said he laments the fact the former’s parents did nothing despite knowing fully well the drug dealing activities of their son, relatives and local political allies.

“Ang nakalulungkot lamang ay ang aking mga sumbong (to Bingo Matugas’ parents) sa aking mga nalalaman ay hindi man lamang nabigyan ng pansin, sa halip lalong lumakas ang grupo sa kanilang illegal na gawain, lalo na sa pagtutulak ng droga,” Bayang stated in his affidavit.

Bayang, who joined the Philippine Army in 2000 and left the service in 2010, said he first served as bodyguard of Del Carmen town Vice Mayor Alfredo “JR” Matugas Coro and paid him under a ‘job order’ service.

According to Bayang, he learned later that Corro’s ally, Bgy. Dapa poblacion councilor Jiggy Ozalea and drivers Dominador Serna and alias Loklok Patil were selling shabu for the vice mayor. He said Serna, and a bodyguard of Bingo Matugas identified as alyas Liboy, convinced him to use and sell shabu.

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