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PNP-DEG agents seize P70.8M shabu, nab 53 ‘HVTs’ in 5-day drive

June 18, 2022 Alfred P. Dalizon 388 views

A FIVE-DAY long anti-narcotics operation by the Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group (PNP-DEG) resulted in the arrest of 53 ‘high-value targets (HVTs),’ the killing of another in a gunbattle and the seizure of P70.8 million worth of shabu and dried marijuana leaves, PNP-DEG director, Brigadier General Randy Q. Peralta said on Saturday.

In a report to PNP Officer-in-Charge, Lieutenant General Vicente D. Danao Jr., the PNP-DEG director said the suspects were neutralized as a result of 53 separate anti-drug operations they launched from June 13-17.

“We have accounted for some 3,453 grams of shabu and destroyed nearly 240,000 pieces of fully-grown marijuana plants and seedlings during the period in the wake of our stepped-up war on drugs,” said Peralta.

Early morning Friday, a PNP-DEG -led anti-narcotics operation in Cebu City resulted in the killing of a top drug trafficker in Central Visayas during a shootout and the recovery of three kilograms of shabu worth P20.4 million, said the official.

The PNP-DEG director identified the slain suspect as Mark Ronald Matig-a alias ‘Onad,’ a resident of Barangay Carreta, Cebu City.

A suspected cohort of the suspect identified as June Tuñacao alias ‘Egay’ managed to escape arrest at the height of the firefight inside the Chinese Cemetery in Bgy. Careta around 1:45 a.m. Friday and is still being hunted as of press time.

Peralta said members of the PNP-DEG Special Operations Unit 7 spearheaded the operation which targeted Matig-a, described as a ‘high-value target’ in Central Visayas.

The PNP-DEG operatives were joined by officers from the Cebu City Police Office and the Mabolo Police Station 4 under Police Regional Office 7 director, Brig. Gen. Roque Edgardo DP Vega and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Region 7 office in conducting the sting.

During the entrapment operation, the two suspects apparently sensed they were dealing with an undercover cop, immediately drew their concealed weapons and fired shots at the poseur, Peralta said.

“Fortunately, shots fired by the suspects failed to penetrate the poseur’s bullet-proof vest. That also gave the back-up operatives the opportunity to return fire killing one of the suspects,” said Brig. Gen. Peralta.

Recovered from the slain suspect were three kilograms of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine’ worth P20,400,000, a paper bag containing the P360,000 worth of boodle money topped by a marked P1,000 bill and a KG9 sub-machinegun with a magazine containing 12 live 9mm ammunition.

Peralta said his men are still conducting follow-up operations to arrest Tuñacao whom he described as ‘armed and dangerous.’

The recovered huge volume of shabu was placed under the custody of the PNP Forensic Group Office 7 for examination, he said.

Last Thursday, over P28 million worth of fully-grown marijuana plants and seedlings were also uprooted and destroyed by PNP-DEG operatives in Tinglayan, Kalinga.

Peralta said that with the support of the Cordillera Police Regional Office and the PNP Special Action Force, his men stormed four huge cannabis plantation sites in Barangay Loccong in Tinglayan municipality early morning Thursday.

He said that an estimated 135,000 pieces of fully-grown cannabis plants worth at least P27 million were uprooted and burned on site by members of the PNP-DEG Cordillera Special Operations Unit, the Cordillera Police Regional Mobile Company, the Kalinga Police Provincial Office and Tinglayan Municipal Police Station under Brig. Gen. Ronald O. Lee and the 141st Special Action Company of the PNP-SAF.

The official said the prohibited crops were found growing in an estimated 13,500 square-meter site.

On Tuesday, PNP-DEG SOU 11 officers also spearheaded a major marijuana eradication drive in Sitio Lamkwah in Bgy. Tacub in Kiblawan, Davao del Sur.

Destroyed during the operation were an estimated P900,000 worth of fully-grown marijuana plants and seedlings.

Brig. Gen. Peralta said that the two operations were in line with their stepped-up effort to locate and destroy all secret cannabis sites in the country as ordered by Lt. Gen. Danao.

“No cultivators were apprehended during the operation but we laud our personnel for the effort at reducing drug supply to drug users. In no time, we will be able to trace those responsible behind this plantation and we will ensure that appropriate charges will be filed against them,” said Danao.