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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Name of cop in Duterte list pops up again in drug busts

A POLICE non-commissioned officer who was included in President Rodrigo Duterte’s list of alleged drug protectors surfaced again yesterday, after a series of anti-illegal drug operations in Cebu City in the last two days.

Pontius (not the cop’s real name) was tagged as the protector of Edna Flores, a suspected big-time drug pusher based in Barangay Pasil.

Flores’s son Mark was also caught in the buy-bust on Tres de Abril St. at 8:20 a.m.

Mabolo Police Station Chief Jacinto Mandal Jr. said it was Mark who coughed up Pontius’s name.

“They are high-value targets,” said Mandal, and added that the suspects could easily dispose of a kilo of shabu per week.

The police official did not identify the cop, who is now in Camp Crame facing investigation, saying the investigators of Cebu City Police Office are still validating this information.

Receipts from money transfers and banks were recovered from the suspects. Cebu City Police Office Director Joel Doria said one of the transactions showed the suspects sent P700,000 to a source, a Chinese national based in Manila.

The names that appeared in the receipts are now subjects of an investigation.

First arrest

Before the arrests of the Floreses, Mandal said they first caught Mark Anthony Rostilla, 35, in Barangay Apas last Tuesday at 11 p.m. A five-gram pack of shabu was seized from his possession.

Rostilla, during an interview with the police, divulged that he sourced his supply from Mark Moralde, who was later caught selling several packs of shabu to the undercover police operatives.

It was Moralde who told the police that the supply of shabu he sold Rostilla came from the Floreses.

Several packs of shabu worth more than P100,000 were seized from them, along with drug paraphernalia and cash.

For their part, Edna and her son denied they are big-time drug dealers. But the other suspects pointed at them as their suppliers.

PDEA operation

Agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 7 caught Edwin Remulta, 42, in a buy-bust in Barangay Babag 2, Lapu-Lapu City at 8 a.m. yesterday.

Leia Albiar, PDEA 7 information officer, said the suspect was in their priority target list because the latter can dispose 200 to 300 grams of shabu in Cordova and Lapu-Lapu City per week.

Seized from Remulta were 10 grams of shabu worth P36,000, a .45 pistol, two magazines, eight bullets, his vehicle and the P1,000 marked bill used in the buy-bust.

Complaints for violating Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, will be filed against the suspects.

A separate complaint for illegal possession of firearms will be filed against Remulta.
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