SEPARATE anti-narcotics operations conducted by members of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency on Friday and Saturday resulted in the confiscation of over P100 million worth of shabu and marijuana in the Visayas and Mindanao, PDEA chair Director General Wilkins M. Villanueva announced yesterday.
Villanueva said 12 kilograms of shabu worth P81.6 million was found in a random inspection of cargoes and other packages at the J&T regional hub in Mandaue City, Cebu around 3 p.m. Saturday.
The official said members of the PDEA Regional Office 7’s K-9 Team were “paneling and sweeping” the J&T cargoes when the team detected suspicious contents in three black boxes of supposedly LED spotlights.
PDEA officers decided to subject the three boxes to the modern X-ray examination at the Cebu City Pier 3. The results showed
the boxes contained organic substance contrary to the declared cargo contents, prompting the PDEA team to open them for a thorough inspection.
The boxes yielded 12 vacuum-sealed tea bags sealed with black rubber containing shabu.
Villanueva said follow-up operations are still underway to identify the shipper and recipient of the confiscated drugs.
In Lanao del Sur, a joint PDEA Lanao del Sur Provincial Office and PDEA Region 4-A buy-bust around 4:30 p.m. on Friday resulted in the arrest of four male drug traffickers and the seizure of two kilos of shabu worth P13.6 million, Villanueva said.
The suspects were identified as Charley Talib, a 31-year-old businessman; and Michael Gamuranao,31, a tricycle driver, both residents of Barangay Macao, Balabagan, Lanao del Sur; Aldasir Bakundo,31; and Radal Naming,46, both fishermen from Bgy. Sta. Barbara, Zamboanga City.
A minor companion of the suspects was rescued in the sting in Bgy. Bago Ingud in Malabang municipality conducted by PDEA men with the support of officers from the Marine Battalion Landing Team 5 of the Philippine Navy, the Malabang Municipal Police Staiton and the Lanao del Sur Police Provincial Office.
The arrest of the suspects came following weeks of surveillance, he added.
Recovered from the possession of the suspects were two green plastic cellophanes with “Guanyinwang Refined Chinese Tea” markings containing a total of 2,091.4 grams of shabu valued at P13.6 million, the buy-bust money, four mobile phones and a motorcycle.
The four suspects are now being held at the PDEA-BARRM jail and will be charged with sale and possession of prohibited drugs under RA 9165 while the rescued minor was turned over to the local social welfare and development office.
In Tanjay City in Negros Oriental, combined agents of the PDEA and the local police arrested Kathernine Manso, 44, of Bgy. 7 Lawton, after she sold drugs to a poseur around 7:15 p.m. last Friday.
Villanueva said that the suspect who is included in the PDEA-PNP watchlist yielded six heat-sealed plastic sachets containing a gram of shabu worth P6,800 and the buy-bust money.
A sixth suspect identified as security guard Aaron Arispe, 41, was arrested in a sting in Bgy. Puro, Legazpi City conducted by members of the PDEA Regional Office 5. He yielded an estimated 100 grams of shabu worth P680,000.
Villanueva said Arispe, of Bgy. Tinago, was previously arrested in 2012 in an anti-drugs operation in the area but the the case against him was dismissed by the court.
Villanueva also reported the arrest of Mercedes Macaiba,43; Filbert Bagtang,28; and his brother Julius,26, after they conspired to sell around 41 kilograms of dried marijuana leaves to an undercover officer in Bgy. Bulanao, Kalinga province 11:20 a.m. Saturday.
The seized cannabis were valued at over P5 million.
The three suspects, all residents of Lacnog, Tabuk City, were arrested in a sting conducted by undercover officers of the PDEA Regional Offices 2, 3 and Cordillera region and members of the Police Regional Offices 2 and Cordillera region.
The four will also be facing non-bailable charges for violation of RA 9165.