Village chieftain, 10 others nabbed in pre-Christmas anti-drug ops

A VILLAGE chieftain and 10 other suspected drug peddlers were arrested by authorities days before the Christmas day break.

In a report obtained from Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Eastern Visayas director Edgar Jubay said that his men in coordination with provincial and municipal anti-illegal drugs operatives in Biliran arrested a certain Joaquin Sabitsana, 41, chairman of Barangay Talahid, Almeria town during a drug bust operation conducted last December 21.

Seized and purchased from the village chief, said to be an HVT (High Value Target) of the PDEA, was one plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance suspected to be methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as "shabu," weighing more or less 0.04 grams with an estimated market value of P1,000.

In Tacloban City, PDEA agents also nabbed at least 10 drug personalities during a joint anti-drug entrapment with the members of the City Anti-Illegal Drugs Operations Task group of the Tacloban City Police Office on the afternoon of December 20 at Barangay 37, Reclamation Area.

First to be arrested during separate buy-bust operations were Reynaldo Arevalo, 46, Marvin Gagarin, 40, and Rolando Gagaboan, 39, all residents of the city.

Seized from them are seven (7) sachets of suspected "shabu" weighing more or less 3.0 grams with street value amounting to P24, 000.

Few minutes later, another suspected drug dealers were arrested in the same area. They were identified as certain Salvador Capintes, 51, Richard Benjamin Merino, of legal age, and John Ray Altaque, 24, all residents of Tacloban City.

They were caught red handed in possession of around six (6) pieces of plastic sachets containing more or less 3.0 grams of suspected "shabu" with street value of P24,000, the PDEA reported.

The PDEA reported that four more suspected drug dealers were arrested namely Freddie Balasbas, 45, Rose Tupaz, of legal age, Ervin Apostol, 37, all three of the them resides in the city and a certain Oliver Jaro of Barangay Tingib, Basey, Samar.

Around seven (7) sachets of suspected "shabu" worth P28,000 were also seized from the suspect during the same day operations by the anti-drug operatives.

The arrested suspects are now detained at the TCPO awaiting charges of violating RA 9165 otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drug Act of 2002 to be filed against them.

Contraband at the city jail

In what appears to be a surprise inspection, the PDEA and the Bureau of Jail and Management and Penology (BJMP) conducted search and seizure in Tacloban City Jail around 7 a.m., December 20, this year.

In a report released to media, director Jubay said the operation yielded several drug paraphernalia and illegal contrabands but failed to enumerate the seized items which he said it is remained in the custody of BJMP Tacloban City. (Sunnex)
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