DOJ probes Maguindanao town vice mayor linked to drugs

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Talitay, Maguindanao Vice Mayor Abdul Wahab Sabal, went through inquest proceedings at the Department of Justice Saturday morning, September 10, signaling the start of preliminary investigations.

He was arrested by agents of the police belonging to the Anti-Illegal Drug Group (AIDG) at the Cotabato Airport in Datu Odin Sinsuat town on Thursday, September 8, and was quietly brought to Manila Friday night from Davao.

AIDG chief Senior Superintendent Albert Ferro said Sabal was arrested for violating RA 10591 and RA 9165, the laws covering illegal firearms and illegal drugs, respectively.

Sabal was in Duterte’s list of officials with alleged links to drugs which was made public on August 7. The list included at least 7 judges, 52 incumbent and former mayors and vice mayors, 3 congressmen, one former Board member, and 95 police and military officers allegedly involved in drugs.

Duterte read out the names in Camp Panacan in Davao City and ordered the cancellation of “any and all” firearm licenses issued to them.

Sabal’s elder brother Montasir Sabal, mayor of Talitay, was likewise on Duterte’s drug list. The mayor, however, claimed he was no longer involved in the illegal drugs trade. He is reported to be on a pilgrimage to Mecca.

The Inquirer reported that the siblings first surrendered to Maguindanao police director Senior Superintendent Nickson Muksan. The day after, they appeared before Philippine National Police Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa in Camp Crame. –