BAGUIO CITY (June 20, 2007) — All rest houses and other houses of Bucloc town (Abra) Mayor Mailed Molina are closely being monitored now after authorities failed to find his alleged drug laboratory.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Cordillera (PDEA) Chief Sr. Supt. Oliver Enmodias bared that Molina’s rest houses in Tayum town including the rest house raided Friday last week and his house in Bangued may have become the temporary refuge of the paraphernalia that produced “hashish” from marijuana.
On June 13, Molina with two others (his driver and a businessman) were caught dealing hashish to a poseur-buyer in Metro Manila. The town mayor and his cohorts are now facing drug raps and illegal possession of firearms after policemen found an M16 assault rifle and caliber .45 pistol inside his Mitsubishi L200 Strada.
Two days after, authorities swooped down Molina’s rest house in Peñarrubia town in search of the drug laboratory equipment used in the production of hashish from marijuana leaves but they failed to locate such. Only caretakers were chanced on by government agents, said Enmodias.
Enmodias said they shall continue efforts against the alleged drug laboratory, which according to the PDEA official may have been transferred to one of the rest houses or houses of Molina.
Molina has a rest house in Tayum town, a former rebel-returnee farm house funded by the Metrobank Foundation for livelihood opportunities of the former rebels like him. He has another house in Bangued, Abra’s capital town, aside from his ancestral home in Bucloc, his native town.
Enmodias claimed Molina’s arrest may have tipped off “employees” of the alleged drug laboratory in Abra prompting them to ship out somewhere to avoid detection. “The equipment (to produce hashish) is small and can easily be brought to another location,” said Sr. Supt. Enmodias.
Molina’s drug trafficking activities?
Molina, an out-going town mayor who ran but lost in the congressional race in Abra, had long been suspected by authorities to have been into the illegal drug trade.
Enmodias said Molina’s supposed deal with a Chinese in Metro Manila at the time he was collared is a telling tale that his illegal activity has gone big time. “Maaring matagal na niyang ginagawa ito,” (It is possible that he had long been doing this) the PDEA-CAR chief said.
After Molina’s arrest in Manila, some influential personalities reportedly contacted the arresting officers apparently wanting to “help” the beleaguered outgoing mayor.
Molina is a member of two nationwide “brotherhoods” composed of prominent and influential people from the three branches of government, the police and the military.
Earlier, the Cordillera Peoples Democratic Front (CPDF) claimed Molina, who also heads the militia group Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CPLA) that splintered off the New People’s Army in 1986, has been into the illegal drug business years ago using the CPLA as his “authoritative” cloak. The rebel group also had claimed that Molina is “handled” by the Northern Luzon Command of the AFP against the NPA.
Leaders of the CPLA claim though that Molina tendered his resignation as CPLA chief when he ran for congressman in the May 14 polls, thus his activities could not mar CPLA’s integrity.
Molina’s driver who was arrested with him, Enmodias claimed, is also a CPLA member.
“It maybe that he is raising funds after he lost in the May 14 elections,” Enmodias added saying authorities are probing if Molina is also maintaining a marijuana plantation in Abra.
He was quick to explain though that the marijuana leaves in the alleged drug laboratory Molina is maintaining might be coming from Kalinga province and not Abra. # Ace Alegre for NORDIS