Virac drug lab drama: Provincial Council wants Judge Contreras out

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Citing “loss of trust and confidence,” the Catanduanes Provincial Council has unanimously passed a resolution asking the Supreme Court (SC) to remove Lelu Contreras as the executive judge of local Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 42.

Provincial Board Member Giovanni Balmadrid served as the principal sponsor of the resolution, said a Bicol Standard report on Tuesday, March 14.

The unprecedented move against the magistrate was an offshoot of the Virac mega shabu laboratory controversy which has brought great shame to the province.

A public hearing regarding the operations of the drug lab was carried out by House Committee on Dangerous Drug members last February 23 at the Catanduanes State University auditorium.

During the hearing, Judge Contreras was blamed for the alleged intentional delay in the issuance of the search warrant against the owner of the shabu laboratory.

This delay apparently prevented authorities to make any arrests during their raid at the drug lab on November 26, 2016. Located a stone’s throw away from the main road, the lab was found deserted.

Police said the facility contained advanced equipment and was capable of producing 9.6 tons of shabu per month.

This led authorities to call it the biggest shabu lab ever found. #