MANILA - A government official has cleared her office following the discovery of a huge shabu laboratory in her province, saying that it would be impossible for her to monitor everything under her turf.
Pineda explained that as governor, she depends on barangay officials and municipal officials to watch out for any illegal activities in their areas of responsibilities.
"Hindi mo talaga siya makikita. Ang laki ng trabaho ko, malawak ang Pampanga. Andiyan 'yung barangay officials, andiyan 'yung mayor, 'yung vice mayor, 'yung Sangguniang Bayan members. Ako, nasa kapitolyo ako. Meron tayong kapulisan, meron tayong intel diyan, meron tayong mga PDEA. Ang ibig kong sabihin, itong trabaho na ito, itong mga shabu lab na ito, itong mga pasilidad na ito, lalo na 'yung mga barangay siguro, hindi nila alam kung anong ginagawa, ano ba 'yung shabu lab na 'yan," she said.
"Governor ako, pero sana alam din natin na hindi ito 'yung mga trabaho ko eh," Pineda also said, adding that she already asked barangay officials to explain how the laboratory existed in the area.
A "mega" shabu laboratory was discovered in Arayat last week, a few weeks after another shabu laboratory was discovered in the town of Magalang.
President Rodrigo Duterte also cleared Pineda, noting that the governor apologized “profusely” after the laboratory was discovered to have been built right under her nose.
PINEDA ORDERS PROBE
Pineda said local authorities have been ordered to probe a possible collusion in the establishment of a huge shabu laboratory on the foot of Mt. Arayat.
"Pinatatawag ko nga ngayon lahat ng barangay official kung bakit nakapasok. Pero kung titingnan mo 'yung lugar, paanan ng bundok, slope ng bundok. Walang mga bahay doon, walang tao, at tabi ng dam," she said.
Pineda also explained that the laboratory was discovered after she ordered local officials to check all businesses, especially those owned by foreigners.
"Magkadugtong lang itong Magalang at Arayat, so nagsuspetsa ako. Sabi ko, lahat ng may mga lisensiya na business license, lalo na kung mga foreigner sila, suyurin niyo, bisitahin ninyo," she said.
According to the governor, they received reports that the owners of the laboratory had girlfriends or wives from the area, which means that they planned on buying the property.
"'Yun ang iimbestigahan namin ngayon, paanong nabili niya 'yung property eh bawal 'yun. Nag-establish sila doon. Hinahanap namin itong mga girlfriend nila, o asawa, hindi namin mahanap," Pineda explained.
Pineda said they are investigating how the property was bought, since the owners are foreigners.
"Yun ang hinahanap namin ngayon, pati yung pumayag na magbenta ng lupa. Bakit siya pumayag? Baka may kinalaman rin siya," she added.