Cebu cops raid drug lord’s house, seize arms, grenade

CEBU policemen yesterday raided the house of suspected Central Visayas drug lord Franz Sabalones in Minglanilla town and seized several high-powered weapons and a grenade, Police Regional Office 7 director, Police Brigadier General Debold M. Sinas said.

The official said that Sabalones was not around when members of the Cebu Police Provincial Office under Police Colonel Manuel Abrugena stormed his residence at Block 3, Lot 11 in Modena Subdivision in Sitio Estaca, Barangay Tunghaan in  Minglanilla town at 7:30 in the morning.

Sinas said that the raid was conducted amid intelligence reports that Sabalones, a native of San Fernando, Cebu is making a comeback. Sabalones confessed he was a ‘drug lord’ when he surrendered to former PNP chief, now retired General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa in August 2016 and identified at least 18 local police officers and men in his payroll.

Armed with a search warrant for violation of RA 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013, Cebu Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit officers led by Major Christopher Rey Nanat, with the assistance of the San Fernando and Minglanilla Municipal Police Stations searched the suspect’s residence.

According to Sinas, recovered during the raid were one caliber 5.56 M-4 automatic rifle with 20 live ammunition, a caliber .45 Remington pistol with a magazine containing seven bullets, one KG9 machine pistol with 17 bullets, a hand grenade and a cell phone which is now being subjected to a forensic digital examination.

The weapons seized were turned over to the local Crime Laboratory for ballistics examination and cross-matching with slugs and spent casings retrieved at the scene of several killings in Cebu, the victims including local politicians.

A number of suspected drug personalities with alleged links with Sabalones have been shot dead by the police during buy-bust operations or gunned down by still unidentified assassins. Some were arrested too.