NBI nabs brothers, suspects in drug trade-A A +A
Thursday, March 14, 2013
THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 arrested yesterday morning two brothers for their alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade in northern Cebu.
Roger, 34, and Ronald Barriga Tabla, 39, were caught by a team led by NBI 7 agent Bernard dela Cruz inside their home in Barangay Looc, Danao City at 9 a.m.
The NBI 7 team seized eight packs of what is believed to be shabu, two smaller packages, four firearms of different calibers, several bullets, drug paraphernalia and other items. The eight plastic packs, which will be turned over to the PNP Regional Crime Laboratory for examination, were estimated to contain 50 to 60 grams of suspected shabu.
Dela Cruz, a lawyer, estimated the street value of the suspected shabu to be P400,000.
He said the suspects are allegedly level two drug pushers for they can distribute about 10 to 15 grams in two days in neighboring towns, as far as Sogod.
The NBI 7 conducted the raid based on a search warrant issued by Regional Trial Court Branch 56 Teresita Galanida.
About 10 persons were also brought to the NBI 7 office for questioning to determine their involvement with the suspects. Dela Cruz said they were inside the house during the brothers’ arrest.
Ronald said he has been involved in the illegal drug trade for two years.
“Mao ni’y panginabuhian (This is our livelihood),” he said in a radio dyHP interview.
Dela Cruz said they conducted surveillance on the suspects for about three months and even bought drugs from them.
Authorities received complaints about the proliferation of illegal drugs in Danao City.
“We found the sale of illegal drugs is rampant,” dela Cruz said.
He said people from “all walks of life” like trisikad drivers, high school students, and decent-looking persons allegedly buy drugs from the Tabla brothers.
He said they received information that brothers are also hired guns but this needs to be verified. The NBI will also check a tip that public officials had visited the suspects.
Dela Cruz, however, dismissed the possibility that the brothers have politician benefactors.
He said the Tabla brothers got involved in illegal drug trade to earn income.
The Tabla brothers will face charges for violating Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, and illegal illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
Dela Cruz said they still have to evaluate if they could file a separate complaint against the suspects, who allowed drug users to conduct pot sessions inside their house.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 14, 2013.