SOCSKSARGEN cops score big in anti-crime drive

AMID their stepped-up enforcement of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in SOCSKSARGEN to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, agents of the Police Regional Office 12 have also intensified their anti-criminality campaign to keep peace and order in the region, officials said yesterday.

“Lawless elements and other crime offenders should not be complacent while we enforce the community quarantine in the region because we are making sure that they will be on the run and be the subject of massive police operations in the region,” said PRO12 director, Brigadier General Alfred S. Corpus of their continuing anti-crime operation in the provinces of South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani and General Santos City.

Those operations led in the killing of two ‘high-value’ drug targets in the region following shootouts with undercover officers in Kidapawan City and in Antipas, Cotabato last Monday and Tuesday, the official said.

The slain suspects were identified as Junel Roa and Jonie Gastar, both included in the Inter-Agency Drug Information Database which was formerly known as the President Rodrigo Duterte List and are both categorized as Level 1 HVTs.

In a report to Philippine National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, Corpus said the slain suspects yielded a sizeable amount of shabu, two loaded firearms and the buy-bust money paid to them by two undercover operatives.

Last Tuesday, local policemen arrested a ‘high-value’ drug target and a man wanted for direct assault with attempted murder in two separate operations in Sarangani and North Cotabato province, said Corpus.

The official said suspect Jimmy Sumali, a 53-year old watchman from Purok 9, Sitio Seguil in Barangay Tinoto in Maasim, Sarangani was arrested in a buy-bust operation conducted by members of the Maasim Municipal Police Station.

Corpus said the ‘HVT’ was placed under arrest after he sold shabu to an undercover officer 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. Recovered from the possession of the suspect were some P5,000 worth of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine,’ several drug paraphernalia and the marked money paid to him by the poseur. 

On the other hand, members of the Pikit Municipal Police Station led by Lieutenant Joseph Letigio arrested Datu Son Sana Manukil, a 39-year old farmer wanted for direct assault with attempted murder during a manhunt operation in Bgy. Pamalian 4 p.m. Tuesday.

The suspect, a resident of Bgy. Takepan in Pikit, also yielded an improvised tooter when frisked shortly after his arrest.

On the same day, PRO12 operatives conducted separate anti-illegal gambling operations in the region and arrested seven persons for violating the law on illegal gambling and the enhanced community quarantine, the official said.

Three of the suspects were arrested in Bgy. Poblacion in Columbio, Sultan Kudarat for playing ‘tong-its’ in public. Recovered from the suspects were P250 in bet money and a set of playing card.

Another operation in Sitio Bacolod in Bgy. Bao in Alamada, Cotabato led in the dismantling of an illegal ‘tupada’ operation in the area where local residents were found to be openly defying the quarantine directive.

Corpus said that the ‘masyador’ of the illegal cockfighting game identified as Juanito Dalumpines managed to flee and is still being hunted.

The local police are still coordinating their effort to identify and arrest the other suspects with the local barangay.

Corpus said that police in Norala, South Cotabato also smashed an illegal gambling activity inside the public cemetery in Purok San Roque in Bgy. Poblacion past 4 p.m. Tuesday.

The suspects were found playing a card game on top of a tomb. Recovered during the operation were P115 in cash bet.