Marcaida arrested, faces drugs and illegal firearms charges

Authorities are preparing the necessary charges to be filed against Vice Mayor Luis Marcaida III (In Photo from left: PSupt Enrico Rigor of PNP Drug Enforcement Group, PDEA Special Enforcement Service Director Gilber Buenafe,, OIC PNP City Director Ronie Bacuel)

Vice Mayor Luis Marcaida III is set to face three separate charges involving possession of illegal drugs and firearms before the Provincial prosecution office following his arrest early morning on Monday during a raid conducted by members of the Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group (PNP-DEG) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Police Superintendent Enrico Rigor of the PNP-DEG based in Camp Crame said in a press conference that the cases  they will file against Marcaida were  based on the various evidence they gathered from Marcaida’s house during the raid conducted at around 4:30 on Monday morning.

“As far as being involved in drugs, the evidence speaks for itself,” Rigor said.

The raiding team said among the evidence they confiscated during the raid were 30 sachets of suspected shabu, a .22 caliber rifle, a .38caliber revolver, three rifle grenades, a fragmentation grenade, assorted magazines and ammunitions of 5.56 caliber, four .45 caliber pistol and assorted magazines.

Also retrieved from Marcaida’s residence was a box purportedly containing P280,000 in cash and a piece of paper that had the name of a judge and another person he identified as a Mr. So. Rigor did not identify the name of the judge reportedly written on the note.

Rigor said that note indicated payments that were supposed to be made to the unidentified judge amounting to P35,000 and a separate payment of P50,000 to So.

“Instinct reveals that we have to investigate this(payment) further,” he said. He said they will look into the persons whom Marcaida had associated that will link them with the money they found in his possession.

Rigor also said a separate case for illegal possession of firearms will be filed against one of Marcaida’s bodyguards, after they determined that the firearm he was carrying was unlicensed.

The raid was conducted based on a search warrant issued by Judge Reynaldo Alhambra, executive judge of Manila Regional Trial Court.

Rigor said they filed the request for a search warrant in Manila based on information provided by local informants “to maintain the secrecy of the operation”.

PDEA agents also said they had conducted surveillance on Marcaida for around three weeks which helped in the buildup of the case.

“Sa hirap nang ginawang surveillance at validation, tapos mahahantong lang sa wala, ‘yun ang iniiwasan natin,” PDEA Director Gilbert Buenafe said.

PSupt Ronnie Bacuel, officer in charge of the City PNP, confirmed that Marcaida was a “high value target” listed in the regional PNP’s list of drug targets under the PNP Oplan Double Barrel.

Marcaida’s wife Monette Marcaida told reporters while the search was being conducted that four men wearing bonnet masks forcibly entered their residence at around 3:30am and ordered them to lie face down on the floor at the second floor of their residence.

“Pinadapa nila kami. Mga naka bonnet sila. Wala pa nun ‘yung kapitan, wala pa yung media,” she said.

Rigor did not reply directly to the allegation of Marcaida’s wife, but said their entire raiding team arrived at the residence at around 4:30 am.

“Kung may CCTV,makakatulong para mapatunayan kung totoo ba o hindi ang allegation na ‘yun,” he said.

(with reports from Keith Anthony Fabro and Hanna Camella Talabucon)

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