Caramoan ex-mayor denies implication in shabu lab rap
By Juan Escandor Jr. NAGA CITY---The former mayor of Caramoan town has denied involvement in the operation of the shabu laboratory discovered by authorities in Barangay Palta Small in Virac, Catanduanes in November last year. On Wednesday last week, an unidentified witness with his face covered with black cloth was presented by police authorities to the media in Catanduanes who named Constantino H. Cordial, former mayor of Caramoan town in Camarines Sur, as involved in the operation of laboratory by delivering last year chemicals used in the making of shabu using a speed boat he owns. Cordial said he does not own a speed boat and the motorized boat of the local government of Caramaoan was operational in 2009 or 2010. He said he is satisfied with the earnings his family gets from their construction business and never would dare to venture into such illegal activity for the sake of his family’s name and grown-up children who are still studying. Cordial said he will exert all his efforts to clear his name and would directly explain and tell President Duterte of his innocence if he has his way. He said he had complained to Chief Supt. Ramon Melvin Buenafe, the police regional director in Bicol who was present during the press conference held in Catanduanes, why they had to produce an unidentified witness to accuse him of illegal activities before members of the media. Cordial said he was referred to the Catanduanes police director whom he called up but the latter did not respond to his call. “Political harassment baga sir. Poon kan paglipat niamo ki Villafuerte dai na kami pipunduhan. (It’s political harassment sir. Since we transferred to the (camp of) Villafuerte, they did not stop.),” Cordial answered when asked in a telephone interview about his alleged involvement in the operation of the uncovered shabu laboratory in Catanduanes. He said since he and wife Marlyn, the incumbent mayor of Caramaon, left the camp of the Fuentebellas a recall election for the mayoral position had been launched. But according to former board member Emmanuel Llaguno, a member of the Fuentebella clan, the family does not take their political rift, if any, as behind Cordial’s implication in the Catanduanes shabu lab operation. “We just pity him. If it is his alibi or defense, it is a very weak defense,” Llaguno said.