By ACE ALEGRE
BAGUIO CITY — Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center director Manuel Factora has gone on indefinite leave as hospital chief after the arrest of his son on drug trafficking charges.
Factora and his family chose to be silent on the case of Allan, 36, a nursing graduate, who with two others were caught selling shabu Monday afternoon here.
This after state fiscal Evelyn Tagudar found probable cause in filing drug trafficking charges against the younger Factora, Maynard Belen, 24, and Melinda Fernandez, 37, who were caught by anti-narcotics policemen in an operation just a few meters from the Baguio City Hall and Baguio City Police headquarters.
Assistant City Prosecutor Tagudar also vouched the validity of the warrantless arrest of Factora and the two other suspects who even tried to run over the arresting policemen.
Drug Enforcement Unit chief Senior Inspector Henry Domogan and his men fired at the Toyota Hi-lux (plate # UGW 728) pick-up’s four tires to immobilize Factora and his companion’s attempt to flee.
A negotiation ensued for the trio to come out of the vehicle but not until Dr. Factora and his wife arrived at the scene to intervene.
Seized from the suspects, police declared, were two plastic sachets of suspected shabu valued at P3,776.
Policemen claimed other illegal drug items might have either been eaten by the trio or mixed with liquid drinks found inside the pick-up truck to evade detection.
The younger Factora, who reportedly has been trailed by anti-narcotic agents for his involvement in the use and eventual trafficking of drugs and his companions are now held at the Baguio City Jail.
Phil. Drug Enforcement Agency-Cordillera officer-in-charge Chief Inspector Edgar Afalla had “cleared” the younger Factora from involvement in the drug trade.
“He is not in the drug watchlist (either as a user or trafficker),” Afalla said though explaining that it was either that anti-narcotic authorities lost track of his activities or he laid low.
Monday’s arrest accordingly was Factora’s third time, but PDEA-Cordillera said his name was not included by the Baguio City Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group (CAIDSOTG).
Afalla further explained that inclusion in the watchlist can only be erased when a suspect lied low or was arrested and sent to jail. # nordis.net