PD Lopez: Search warrants not targeting Celeste group

LINGAYEN–P/Col. Wilson Lopez, police provincial director, revealed that the search warrants being applied for before the courts and served against suspected firearm holders and other suspects were based on validated intelligence reports reaching the police.

This was bared by Lopez in reaction to one of the allegations of Alaminos City Mayor Arthur Celeste, candidate for governor, that only his political allies are being targeted for search warrant operations by the police.

At a press conference at the Star Plaza Hotel on Wednesday, Celeste announced he is filing a complaint for abuse of authority against Lopez and a still unnamed judge of the Regional Trial Court who issued all search warrants against many of his allies.

“Unang-una, hindi ko po narinig yong allegation nila. Karapatan po nila yan. Sasagutin ko na lang pag dumating na po yong complaint nila,”Lopez said.

In a talk over Bombo Radyo Dagupan on Friday, Lopez said applications for search warrants are based on intelligence report and once the court grants the application, the police are expected to implement the search warrant.

Lopez said he does not know the particular judge whom Celeste said will be charged as well for a case of abuse of authority.

But certain quarters believe this could be the RTC judge who issued all the search warrants applied for by the police in different towns of Pangasinan against several people.

Lopez added that the placing of Alaminos City under the Orange Category or “hot spot” was based on the validation by the Commission on Elections, Armed Forces of the Philippines and PNP.

Some of the newly arrived augmentation force from the PNP Regional Office 1 and the Philippine Army have started securing all the areas placed under immediate concern.  

Provincial Elections Supervisor Ericson Oganiza said the placing of Alaminos City under Orange Category was sought by the City Joint Security Control Meeting whose members know the real situation on the ground.

Those placed under the Orange Category should expect increased police deployment to prevent any untoward incident during the election, he added.

Reacting to Celeste remark that “Lopez; soul is now owned by the Espinos, the provincial director said: “Ang kaluluwa ko, ang ating Panginoon ang siya lamang may-ari niyan. And of course, ang aking mga mahal sa buhay”. (Leonardo Micua)

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