Drug pushers, users arrested in Malacañang

June 21, 2019

NINE persons engaged in the illegal drugs trade have been rounded up around the Malacañang compound by joint operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Presidential Security Group (PSG).

NBI spokesman Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin identified the arrested suspects as Rolando Laya, Bryan Jason Batrina, Melvin Santiago, Freddie Nacion Jr., Esperanza Pido, Joan Garcia, Ronnie Gonzales Lao, Sulpicio Reyes Cassiler Jr., and Leonardo Dela Cruz Asa.

Lavin said the suspects were arrested during a series of operations conducted by the NBI’s Task Force Against Illegal Drugs (NBI-TFAID) and the PSG.

Suspects Laya, Batrina and Santiago were first arrested in a drug buy-bust inside the Malacanang compound last June 7. Follow-up operations led to the arrest of Nacion, Pido and Garcia on June 17 in Barangay 662, Paco, Manila. Seized from the suspects were six plastic sachets containing shabu.

On the same day, the operatives served another search warrant at the home of Lao in Barangay 831 in Paco where Cassiler and Asa were caught having a pot session.

Operatives seized eight plastic sachets of shabu, drug paraphernalia and an unlicensed firearm from Lao.

The suspects have been presented for inquest before the Manila Prosecutors Office for violating Republic Act 9165, the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. Lao was also charged with illegal possession of firearms in violation of the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunitions Regulations Act.

With Efren Montano