THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Central Visayas confiscated 1.3 kilos of “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride) worth P7 million during the Sinulog 2018 festivities last January 18 to 21 in Metro Cebu and Mandaue City.
PDEA-Central Visayas Director Emerson Margate said that they intercepted the bulk of shabu coming from Zamboanga and Jolo in Mindanao.
"They took advantage of the influx of the two million revelers and tourists who flocked in the Sinulog. We coordinated with our counterparts from PDEA Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula) who told us that they are on their watchlist," Margate said.
Margate said that they arrested Teresa Evangelista, who took the land trip from Zamboanga, at the south bus terminal last Jan. 20. She was allegedly carrying 650 grams of shabu.
However, she denied the accusation, saying she’s in Cebu to visit her child, who is doing a hotel and restaurant management internship.
“I don’t know where the drugs came from,” she said.
Also caught were Roger Jumadil and Mahidi Hajaral, who took the plane from Zamboanga to Mactan via Cagayan de Oro City, last Jan. 21.
“We arrested them in Banilad, Mandaue after our intelligence community tipped us of their movements,” he said.
On Jan. 18,290 grams were seized from Neressa Magbanua, Marichu Pestaño,Virginia Orge and Ruth Jimenez in Bakilid, Mandaue.
On Jan. 20 at 4 a.m., Arvin Postrero and Sheilamar dela Torre were caught with 50 grams in Barangay Banawa, Cebu City.
Later that night, 105 grams were seized from Leo Oliveros and Eric Castro in Barangay Guadalupe.
Margate said that the volume of tourists and revelers during the Sinulog attracts drug personalities.
The PDEA 7 recently acquired equipments like a drone, bulletproof vests, helmets, five body cameras and eight two-way hand-held radios for their operations.
“This will help us so that issues regarding our operations will be transparent to the public in regards to illegal drugs,” Margate said.