THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Central Visayas operatives arrested five persons, including a 17-year-old girl during a buy-bust in a drug den at the back of the barangay hall of Carreta, Cebu City last Wednesday night.
Seized from the suspects were 30 grams of white crystals believed to be shabu worth P100,000.
PDEA 7 Acting Information Officer Earl Rallos said the village officials did not inform them about the presence of the drug den.
He said an informant tipped them about the illegal activity.
The agency will investigate the officials and trace the connections of drug den maintainer Rolly Ando Frasco, 34, who was arrested along with alleged junkies Romeo Patangnan, 42; Locrisio Pepito Talisic, 27; Samia Sepulveda, 23; and Joy (real name withheld for being a minor).
Frasco’s clientele includes construction workers, mall employees and students from nearby public schools.
For his part, Frasco denied running the drug den, saying the house is owned by a certain Pedro.
Joy said she left her home in San Remigio, northern Cebu after her father scolded her last Dec. 30. She stayed in Pedro’s house while looking for her boyfriend.
The girl felt remorse staying in the house.
“Kon makabuhi ko diri mouli ko sa amoa mangayo na ko’g pasaylo sa akong Papa (When I’m out of here, I will go home and ask for my father’s forgiveness),” she said.
Joy did not continue her studies after she finished third year high school. She has a tattoo on her left arm that read: “I love Mary Jane,” a slang word for marijuana.
Emma Patalinghug of the Department of Social Welfare and Development 7 said parents should guide their children and educate them about the ill effects of drug abuse.
She said minors will be included in criminal charges if they acted with discernment.
Under Republic Act 9344, also known as the Juvenile Justice Act of 2006, minors above 15 but below 18 years may be charged with criminal offense if social workers are able to determine that the crime was committed with discernment on the part of the minor.
Complaints for violating Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, will be filed against suspects
Frasco will also be charged for violating the law’s Section 5 (selling of dangerous drugs), a non-bailable offense.
In response, Carreta Barangay Captain Eduardo Lauron said he is willing to cooperate with PDEA 7.
Lauron admitted that he knew about it already and the people who operated on it were even part of the Oplan Tokhang of the police.
“We already convinced them to stop but despite our efforts, they still went on with their illegal business,” he said in Cebuano.
Lauron said records of the Police Station 4 in Barangay Mabolo will show that these people were subject to their Oplan Tokhang.
As to the other residents in the barangay who are still into the illegal drug trade, Lauron said he is willing to cooperate and work with PDEA to clear them.