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Catanduanes Gov Joseph Cua, two other execs rapped before Ombudsman in shabu lab scandal

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Catanduanes Governor Joseph Cua and two other local officials have been slapped with criminal and administrative charges over the discovery of a “mega-sized shabu laboratory” in the province last year.

Complainant Edralyn Pangilinan said that gross negligence on the part of Cua, Virac Mayor Samuel Laynes and Barangay Palta Small Chairman Hilario Tomagan Sarmiento allowed Chinese nationals to build and operate the clandestine shabu lab located at Palta Small, Virac, Catanduanes.

Located near the highway, the lab operated for nine months before it was raided by police last November 26. It was capable of churning out 9.6 tons of shabu a month, reports said.

Pangilinan also asked the Ombudsman to file graft cases against the three respondents for causing injury to the people through their negligence.

Cua has denied any hand with drug lab as well as the illegal drug activities in the island province.

Pangilinan is the widow of Larry Que, a local newspaper publisher. Que, 54, was gunned down in broad daylight last December 19 after running scathing articles about the drug lab.

Que ran against Laynes for the mayor’s seat in May 2016.