ILOILO – Mayor Jon Aying of Sara reminded municipal hall employees to distance themselves from illegal drugs following the shooting of Sangguniang Bayan secretary James “Jaguar” Balsomo III.
“Naga-remind lang kita nga dapat indi gid mag-engage sa illegal nga hilikuton or bisyo,” he said.
According to Aying, he already reiterated his goal as the town’s top official in maintaining peace and order situation.
“Sang Monday pa lang naghambal ako nga ang una naton nga agenda or first goal is to keep the peace and order and ikaduha to make our town illegal drug-free,” he stressed.
Aying said he can’t promise assistance for those who will be caught for they will face severe sanctions under penalty of law.
“Siling ko pag-abot sa drugs kon kamo magkasala indi gid kita makahatag sang bulig sa inyo,” he added.
On Friday, Balsomo was shot in an antidrug operation of the police. He sustained gunshot wounds on the chest and was brought to The Medical City in Iloilo City for treatment.
Police Major Jonathan Pinuela, chief of the Iloilo Police Provincial Office’s Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit, said the buy-bust took place in Barangay Antonio Yusay, Sara around noon. An undercover cop purchased a big sachet of shabu from Balsomo for P50,000.
Balsomo pulled out a .45 pistol and fired it upon realizing he was being entrapped but failed to hit the asset, added Pinuela.
For his part, Aying said that he doesn’t want to intervene with Balsomo’s case.
“Bali ang sitwasyon ni SB secretariat Balsomo that is a police action so I don’t think nga kinahanglan mag-intervene pa dira ang local government unit,” he added.
Aying, however, admitted that Balsomo remains to be innocent and to be proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
“Despite wala man gid sila nagsuporta sa akon pero we are able to establish good relationship this time and I found si James Balsomo maayo sia mag-work, very professional sa iya trabaho,” the mayor said.
On Oct. 17 last year, Balsomo was a subject of a house raid for alleged unlicensed guns but the police found none.
A year before that, on Aug. 17, 2017 PDEU and the Special Weapons and Tactics team of the Iloilo Police Provincial Office searched his house. Balsomo was not around but cops recovered a grenade, 39 empty bullet shells of a .45-caliber pistol, assorted live ammunition, four packs of dried marijuana leaves, and empty plastic sachets.
The police have a search warrant from Judge Rogelio Amador of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 68./PN