Notorious drug group members nabbed-A A +A
Friday, September 7, 2012
MANILA -- Three members of the infamous Ortega Drug Group operating in Taguig City were arrested by authorities this week, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said.
PDEA Director General Undersecretary Jose Gutierrez Jr. identified the arrested suspects as Alfredo Ortega, alias Freddie, 54; Melissa Lim, alias Cristy, 32; and Jennilyn Bonina, alias Jen, 27.
The three drug group members, all residents of Barangay Bagumbayan, Taguig City, are included in the PDEA Order of Battle, a watch list of drug personalities targeted for neutralization.
They were arrested on September 5 by joint elements of PDEA, the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Office of the Taguig City Mayor, during a buy-bust operation in the suspects' residence, which was utilized as a drug den.
The PDEA said operatives planned a transaction with Ortega who agreed to meet an undercover agent in his residence.
Upon receiving the pre-arranged signal after the agent received 11 plastic sachets of shabu, authorities immediately arrested the suspects who obtained marked money.
Gutierrez said the drug den was owned by Ortega and maintained by the two other suspects to easily allow clients to purchase shabu and provide them a place to consume the items they bought.
Because of their involvement in illegal drug activities, particularly drug pushing in Taguig City, the three suspects have been closely monitored by PDEA agents for quite some time, according to Gutierrez.
PDEA records revealed that Ortega was previously sentenced to six years imprisonment after he was found guilty for violation of Republic Act 6425, or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972.
Ortega was also able to elude arrest during a buy-bust operation in March 2011, which resulted in the arrest of his younger brother, Gregorio Ortega, Jr., the suspected leader of the drug group.
"We will continue to pursue local drug groups because they are responsible for the proliferation of illegal drugs in our communities," Gutierrez said.
The three arrested suspects are now temporarily detained inside a jail facility of the PDEA Regional Office National Capital Region.
Last month, the PNP reported that P1.78 billion worth of illegal drugs in 4,211 separate anti-drug operations across the country were confiscated by authorities in the first six months of the year.
A total of 7,401 violators of RA 9165 were also arrested by the PNP in drug buy-bust operations, raids and searches, and marijuana eradication operations in the countryside. (Emmanuel Louis Bacani/Sunnex)