POLICE Regional Office 7 (PRO7) director, Brigadier General Roque Edgardo Vega on Monday announced the arrest of 479 lawbreakers including 150 known drug personalities following a region-wide anti-criminality operation in Central Visayas which also led in the seizure of some P13 million worth of shabu and over 200 loose firearms.
In a report to Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, General Dionardo B. Carlos, the Central Visayas police director said that the arrests and seizures were made during the conduct of a Synchronized Enhanced Managing Police Operations or SEMPO in the region last Saturday.
The 24-hour anti-criminality operations in the region resulted in the arrest of 150 drug suspects, a number of them tagged as ‘high-value individuals’ and the confiscation of 1,965.72 grams of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine’ worth nearly P13.4 million.
Vega said that three of the ‘HVTs’ arrested yielded some P2.3 million worth of shabu.
The official identified the arrested suspects as Arnel Veloria, a 40-year old carpenter and Ariel Esting,38, both residents of Tagbilaran City in Bohol and Charlie Tabanas,34, a jobless resident of Toledo City in Cebu.
Brig. Gen. Vega said that Veloria was arrested in a sting in Sitio Grass Avenue in Barangay Basak, Cebu City conducted by PRO7 and local Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency operatives last Friday.
On the other hand, Esting yielded some P544,000 worth of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine’ during an anti-narcotics operation in Bgy. Ubujan in Tagbilaran City.
Tabanas meanwhile yielded 200 grams of shabu worth P1.360 million during a sting in Bgy. Putting Bato in Toledo City around 3:25 a.m. Saturday.
“On orders of Gen. Carlos, we are further intensifying our war on drugs, criminality, insurgency, terrorism and corruption in the whole of Central Visayas,” Brig. Gen. Vega said.
The official said they are also currently focusing their sight on dismantling identified partisan armed groups in the region.
He said that the arrested suspects are now facing non-bailable charges for sale and possession of prohibited drugs under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Cebu City Police Office director, Colonel Josefino Ligan said they have launched an intensified campaign against illegal drug trafficking and abuse in the city and expect to make more arrests and seizures in the days ahead.
“We are intensifying our anti-drug campaign since the easing of health protocols is expected to increase the supply of illegal drugs in the city as drug personalities would take advantage of the downgraded quarantine status,” the official said.
Cebu City is now placed under Alert Level 2 along with the entire province of Cebu.
Last Saturday’s SEMPO also led in the arrest of 296 persons involved in illegal gambling activities and the confiscation of P28,460 in cash bets. Brig. Gen. Vega said that a total of 198 anti-illegal firearms’ operations on the same day netted 23 suspects and 223 illegal guns.
Another 27 Most Wanted Persons and 183 Other Wanted Persons were also arrested on the same day.