AGENTS of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the local police on Thursday arrested a priest and his companion in a buy-bust operation in Bacoor City, Cavite.
Arrested were Bishop Richard Alcantara alias “Ricky” of the Sacred Order of Saint Michael Congregation, and his alleged cohort, Perlito Alibay alias “Perling.”
Bacoor police chief Supt. Vicente Cabatingan said another suspect, Fernando Dacuma, managed to escape.
Alcantara was a former member of the Catholic Church for England and Wales. A radio report said he was ordained in the Holy Family Catholic Church in Imus, Cavite.
Authorities conducted a drug buy-bust at Tagumpay Compound Tabing Dagat in Bgy. Alima in Bacoor City following reports of the prelate’s alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade.
Alcantara was immediately handcuffed after he allegedly handed over P200 worth of shabu to a police-poseur. Alibay, who was with Alcantara, was also arrested.
According to an intelligence report, the priest was known in their place as a drug pusher. He allegedly sells illegal drugs and the payment he uses to buy shabu for his own consumption.
“Ilang araw din kaming nagsagawa ng surveillance base na rin sa nakalap naming impormasyon hinggil sa paggamit at pagtutulak ng droga ng mga suspect,” Cabatingan said.
Police said the suspects were included in the province’s drug watchlist.
Seized from Alcantara and Alibay were some 0.5 grams of shabu worth P3,400 and drug paraphernalia.
Charges for violation of Section 26 in relation to Section 5, 12, and 15, Article II of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 were filed against the arrested suspects.