2 Masbate ex-mayors face raps for maintaining shabu labs

MASBATE CITY—Two former Masbate mayors are facing criminal charges for allegedly maintaining shabu laboratories: Cherry Abapo, Jr., former mayor of San Fernando and Lester Abapo, former mayor of Milagros and incumbent punong barangay of F. Magallanes here.

Cherry and Lester, who are first cousins, were charged at the Department of Justice with cases of manufacture of illegal drugs and conspiracy to manufacture illegal drugs.

Also named in the charges were Ponga Lee, a foreign national who oversaw the shabu labs, and Fernando Bravante.

The investigators said the cases have already been raffled off to the sala of Judge Manuel Sese Jr., of Branch 45 of the Masbate City Regional Trial Court.

It would be recalled that on February 14, 2015, two residences of Lester Abapo in Barangay Nursery and Barangay Tugba were the subject of a raid led by the Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force of the PNP, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Police Regional Office 5.

Among the items confiscated were voluminous amounts of shabu, laboratory equipment, other chemical materials and precursors.

The illegal substance is reportedly brought to the National Capital Region for distribution.

Said labs could produce up to 50 kilos of police in a week's time, the investigators said.

As of press time, Cherry is under the custody of the police.

Meanwhile, the investigators said they are still waiting for the warrant of arrest against Lester, Ponga, and Fernando.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM