AUTHORITIES in the Cordillera region arrested 16 individuals while confiscating illegal weeds during a check point in Sabangan, Mountain Province.
After receiving a tip from reliable informants, members of the Sabangan Municipal Police immediately conducted a check point at Sitio Todey, Poblacion in the evening of December 4.
Police were able to flag down a passenger van with plate number PN A2 N747 on its way to Baguio City.
Upon flagging down the vehicle, combined elements from Sabangan police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency were able to discover 56 marijuana bricks weighing more or less 56,000 grams with estimated Dangerous Drugs Board value of P1,400,000; more or less 40 grams of dried marijuana stalks worth P5,000 and more or less 30 grams powdered marijuana worth P750.
Twelve passengers including the owner-driver, identified as Bayani Malang, 54, a resident of Nijaga, Tondo, Manila were arrested including Ricky Pinlac Perez; Marvin Canlas Garza; Miko Flores Miranda; and Jaymar Cruz De La Cruz, all 18 years old; Ezekiel Radin Tiu, 20; Mark Santiago Sarmiento, 21; Niko Cwaling Yumol, 21, all residents of Tondo, Manila; Jireh Rose Daniaguel De La Cruz, 19, a resident of Montalban, Rizal; Abigail Baldric Del Fierro, 23, college graduate, from New Jersey, USA and residing at Project 6-Quezon City; Nneka Anastasia Okonkwo, 23, native of Nigeria and residing at San Fernando City; and Stephanie Mangaoang Gapuz, 27, from Carpenter Avenue Plainfield Illinois, residing at San Fernando, La Union, and all students.
Four minors were also collared by authorities who were on board the van.
All suspects were brought to the court for inquest proceedings while the minor suspects were taken into custody by the Local Social Welfare of Sabangan while the marijuana bricks, stalks and powder are now at the Regional Crime Laboratory Office for examination.