Kin of 2 Aquino cabinet officials arrested

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Police on Monday reported the arrest of the sister-in-law of a cabinet official of former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino and her daughter during an illegal drugs “sting” operation in Quezon province in Southern Luzon.

Senior Superintendent Antonio Yarra, the provincial police chief, identified the suspects as Maria Fe Abutin Alcala and her daughter Toni who yielded $4,000 worth of the illegal drug shabu or methamphetamine hydrochloride during the operation.

Yarra said Maria Fe is the sister-in-law of former secretary Proceso Alcala of the Department of Agriculture during the Aquino administration whose clan is considered one of the most powerful and influential in Southern Luzon.

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Maria Fe’s husband, Yarra said, is Cerilo, the younger brother of Alcala and incumbent Congressman Vicente Alcala of Quezon.

According to Yarra, a combined team of policemen and anti-narcotics agents arrested the two suspects during a buy-bust operation at their house in a gated private housing estate in Tayabas City, Quezon late on Sunday night.

The suspects did not resist arrest when the lawmen handcuffed them after turning over several sachets of shabu to an undercover agent who posed as a buyer, Yarra added.

He said police considered the suspects as “high value targets” along with Cerilo Alcala and their son Sajid tagged as one of the most wanted drug lords who allegedly controlled and were responsible for the spread of illegal drugs particularly shabu in Southern Luzon.

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Separately, a “birthday” card for the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos that was posted on the government’s Official Gazette came under heavy fire from netizens for allegedly “revising” history by omitting his role in imposing martial law that was marred by rampant human rights violations.

The protests were so strong it prompted Communications Secretary Martin Andanar to order its removal from the Facebook account of the Official Gazette as he pointed out: “You cannot change history.”

Earlier, Andanar’s staff admitted they came out with the caption in honour of Marcos whose family and their supporters celebrated his 99th birthday on Sunday.

The original caption omitted Marcos’s imposition of martial law and his eventual ouster by the Edsa 1 People Power revolution in February 1986 and his exile in Hawaii with other members of his family and their cronies.

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