School president in drug controversy goes on study leave

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 05 March) – A school official accused of keeping in his possession shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) worth around P500,000 has gone on a yearlong study leave.

The board of trustees of the state-run Cotabato Foundation College for Science and Technology (CFCST) in Arakan, North Cotabato has approved the leave of Dr. Samson Molao, the school president whose staff house allegedly yielded shabu during a raid in January this year.

Dulia Sultan, a board member of CFCST, said they granted Molao’s leave application on March 3 on condition than he submit to the board his chosen course and thesis subject.

Sultan said Molao will continue receiving his salary and other benefits as CFCST president while on leave.

In an interview over Catholic-run DXND, Sultan clarified that Molao can return to the institution after his study, as no administrative or criminal charges have been filed against him in relation to the raid by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

During the raid, PDEA agents allegedly confiscated 14 high-powered firearms the school had issued to its security guards and shabu worth half a million pesos.

Molao has not reported for duty since, Sultan said.

“As far as the BoT is concerned, we have not received any copy of any charge filed against our president, Dr. Molao. Also, there is yet no warrant of arrest that was issued against him. Yet, Molao, instead of returning to the school, decided to go on a sabbatical leave,” she explained.

She stressed the board approved Molao’s leave based on its merit and the benefit it will bring to the faculty and the school.

The BoT has appointed Dr. Zainudin Adam, CFCST vice-president for Land Reservation, as officer-in-charge of the college while Molao is on leave.

Sultan said Agricuture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol has recommended to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to appoint Clint Hassan, a former CFCST employee, as OIC president.

Pinol’s recommendation bore a marginal note from President Rodrigo Duterte, she said.

But she added they have yet to receive the necessary documents, including a letter from Hassan that he was interested in the post.

Hassan was also endorsed by the Save CFCST Movement whose leaders include Dr. Harris Sinolinding, considered by Molao as one of his staunch critics.

Sinolinding said in an interview that they wanted Hassan to sit as OIC president because they have high regard for him and that he is an “outsider”.

Sultan, however, said Hassan was “not, in anyway, interested” in the position and that he acknowledged that he is not qualified for the post.

She quoted CHED commissioner Ronald Adamat as saying that “Hassan did not apply for such position.”

Adamat represents CHED in the CFCST board of trustees. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)