STEPPED-UP anti-narcotics effort by the Police Regional Office 11 in Southern Mindanao have resulted in the arrest of eight top drug targets and the confiscation of over P2 million worth of shabu, PNP chief, General Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr. said on Sunday.
“I have ordered the PRO11 to ensure the filing of airtight criminal charges against the arrested suspects to ensure their full conviction by the court,” said the top cop as he congratulated the PRO11 headed by Brigadier Gen. Benjamin H. Silo Jr. for their latest accomplishments in the PNP’s war on illegal drug trafficking and abuse.
One of the suspects identified as Mark Alvin Gamale alias ‘Popoy,’ tagged as among the most wanted drug personalties in Southern Mindanao was arrested in a buy-bust operation in Davao City last Thursday, said Silo.
The suspect yielded some 95 grams of shabu worth P1.524 million during the anti-narcotics operation along Kilometer 28, National Highway Lasang in Davao City past 3 p.m. Thursday, Brig. Gen. Silo said.
According to the official, undercover officers from the Bunawan Police Station, with the assistance of the Davao City Police Drug Enforcement Unit and City Intelligence Unit and the Regional Mobile Force Battalion conducted the operation.
Brig. Gen. Silo said that during the sting, an undercover officer managed to buy drugs from the suspect and gave the go-signal to his other colleagues that the deal has been consummated.
Other officers posted near the scene then rushed in to arrest the 38-year old suspect who happened to be a driver/mechanic residing in Zone 2, Panacan, Davao City.
Recovered from the possession of the suspect were 19 pieces of heat-sealed plastic sachets containing the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine,’ the buy-bust money topped by a marked P1,000 bill and a caliber .45 semi-automatic pistol with a magazine containing six live ammunition.
The suspect’s silver Hyundai Reina with plate no. LAI 7679 was also impounded by the arresting officers who were equipped with Body-Worn Cameras and recording devices during the operation.
Brig. Gen. Silo said that the suspect is now facing non-bailable charges for sale and possession of prohibited drugs under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and RA 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013.
“We are hitting two birds with one stone here as we continue to conduct operations against illegal drugs, we also take efforts in apprehending armed drug suspects. Ultimately, our goal is to maintain peace and order in communities so the general public will be feel safe in their localities,” Gen. Azurin said.
Another sting in Mati City led in the arrest of an 18-year old male tagged as a regional ‘high-level individual’ and his cohorts Gilbert Lim Yap,47; and Rex Fernandez,27. A 4thsuspect identified as Norman Empuesto is still being hunted as of press time, said the PRO11 director.
Confiscated from the possession of the suspects were some P40,000 worth of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine.’
The 4th identified as Judy Pague yielded some P422,000 worth of shabu during an entrapment operation in Bunawan, Davao City last Thursday.
The four others identified as Felimon Llorando, Romeo Pantonial, Rudy Pedrales and Rolando Hocamis were arrested in an anti-narcotics operation in Bansalan, Davao del Sur last Friday.
Brig. Gen. Silo said that his men raided a drug den said to be being maintained by the accused and arrested the four after they yielded an estimated P180,000 worth of shabu.
Appropriate charges for violation of RA 9165 have been filed against the rest of the suspects, the official said.