Wednesday, July 21, 2010

NPA punishes drug lord and corrupt ex-mayor Mateo Biong, Jr.

NPA punishes drug lord and corrupt ex-mayor Mateo Biong, Jr.*

Press Release
July 21, 2010

The Efren Martires Command of the New People's Army in Eastern Visayas today acknowledged that the NPA had carried out the death sentence by the people's court on Mateo Biong, Jr., a big drug lord and a corrupt former mayor of Giporlos, Eastern Samar. According to Ka Karlos Manuel, EMC spokesperson, Biong was punished by operatives of the NPA's Sergio Lobina Command at 3 p.m. on July 13 in Brgy. Coticot, Giporlos.

Ka Karlos Manuel elaborated that the death sentence was meted on Biong by the people's court because of the following capital crimes:

1. Biong was a big drug lord. He was one of those responsible for the recent spread of illegal drugs in Eastern Samar on such a massive scale that it had caught media attention since last year. He had at least eight goons who handled the delivery of "shabu" (methamphetamine) throughout the province. The exchange of cash and drugs was done at sea, as described in media reports on the illegal drugs trade in the province.

2. Biong was the mastermind behind various murders in Eastern Samar, such as that of Ronnie Barsana, Remigio Quiminales, an ex-army soldier known only as Resureccion, and others. These persons were either aware of Biong's illegal activities or were his rivals in crime.

3. Biong plundered public funds as Giporlos mayor from 2004-2010. He stole at least P50 million earmarked for five bridge projects, which scandalized the people but for which he was never held to account. He also implemented only half of a P36 million water system project and pocketed the rest of the funds.

4. Biong likewise plundered and destroyed the environment. He masterminded illegal logging and illegal sand and gravel quarrying in Giporlos. Thus the forests and environment of Giporlos have been seriously damaged. Biong also led illegal fishing with the use of dynamite and trawls, while pretending to crack down on others who were in fact his rivals.

The EMC spokesperson added that Biong also had other lesser offenses such as overcharging for lending the fiesta sound system (charging P80,000 when it should be half that), as well as exploiting women. He had least two mistresses, one of whom was even a town council member.

Ka Karlos Manuel also dismissed the claim by the Commission on Human Rights that Biong's punishment was an extrajudicial killing. "The people's court observed due process in investigating, trying and punishing Biong in accordance with the revolutionary justice system. Meanwhile, the CHR pays lip service to solving the real problem of more than 1,000 political killings as well as the killings of media people. Thus the government's Oplan Bantay Laya continues to menace innocent civilians and the media."

The NPA spokesperson said that Biong's punishment rendered justice to his victims and the people, and serves as a warning to other crime lords and corrupt politicians that the revolutionary movement will pursue and punish them.