CORDILLERA Police Regional Office director, Brigadier General Ronald O. Lee yesterday announced the interception of 65 kilograms of dried marijuana bricks worth around P7.8 million set to be smuggled to Metro Manila and its nearby provinces by a drug syndicate from the region.
In a report to Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, General Debold M. Sinas, Lee said a 36-year old jobless resident of Barangay Loccong in Tinglayan, Kalinga identified as Michael Assudo was arrested for transporting the huge volume of cannabis in Bgy. Bado Dangwa, Tabuk City on board a motorcycle.
Lee said members of the Cordillera Police Regional Drug Enforcement Unit and Regional Intelligence Division and the Tabuk and Tinglayan Municipal Police Stations were involved in the successful interdiction operation.
He said that officers led by Lieutenant Colonel Radino Belly set up checkpoints in the area with the help of the local Highway Patrol Group (HPG) and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) amid an information regarding the plan to transport a big volume of dried marijuana bricks in the area to the metropolis.
Around 8:15 p.m. last Saturday, Lee said officers spotted the suspect while driving a motorcycle with a heavy load. However, the suspect who was later identified as Assudo tried to evade the checkpoint prompting the lawmen to give chase until he was cornered and arrested.
Recovered from the suspect’s motorcycle were a box with LBC marking which turned out to be containing 65 dried marijuana bricks and stalks weighing about 65 kilos.
The other Sunday, Cordillera policemen also intercepted a vehicle found carrying 311 kilograms of marijuana bricks worth more than P37 million which were all believed set to be smuggled to Metro Manila from Tabuk City in Kalinga province.
Lee said that the driver of the black Mitsubishi Adventure with plate no. NBZ 7232 identified as Sabado Guimba is still being hunted.
The official said that Guimba stopped about 200 meters away from the checkpoint and suddenly turned left towards a nearby irrigation area where he and his unidentified companions abandoned the wagon and fled on foot.
Lee said that officers who checked the vehicle discovered eight sacks containing 311 dried marijuana bricks, each weighing a kilo and worth around P37.2 million.
All suspects are now facing charges for transport and possession of dangerous drugs under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, the official said. By CESAR REYES & ALFRED DALIZON