TACLOBAN CITY -- Five illegal drug personalities were arrested in a drug bust conducted by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Military Intelligence Battalion (MIG) in the cities of Tacloban and Maasin, authorities said Saturday.

PDEA-Eastern Visayas director Edgar Ubay identified the alleged drug peddler as Ronald “Unak” Luna, 36, a resident of Barangay 51 and Eduardo “Pipo” Go, 19, a resident of Barangay 59-A, both this city, were arrested during a drug bust conducted before dawn of February 21 at Barangay 51, Independencia corner Real Streets, this city.

Seized from the suspects was a sachet of meth crystal (shabu), weighing three grams with estimated market value of P24,000. A marijuana joint was also seized.

A day before, around 2:30 p.m., authorities nabbed a drug suspect identified as Paterno Macabasag, 26, and a resident of Sagkahan village.

Seized from him is a sachet of shabu about4.5 grams with street value of P36,000.

The anti-illegal drug personnel also netted another suspected drug dealer identified as Nene Reli, 43 during a late night drug bust in Barangay 95, in Caibaan, this city. Her cohort, identified only as alias “Jeday” managed to escape arrest.

Some 0.71 grams of suspected “shabu” contained in nine transparent plastic with estimated street value of P5,680 and drug paraphernalia was recovered.

In Maasin City, a known drug personality was arrested in a drug sting held at Garces St., Tunga-Tunga village, around 6:30 p.m. of February 21.

Seized from Francius Czar Silmonet, 32, a student and resident of Combado village, is suspected shabu worth P500. Authorities said the suspect is in the PDEA watch list.

A violation of Republic Act 9165 had been filed against the suspects who are now in Tacloban and Maasin jails.

Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte suspended all police operations in the drug crackdown due to deep-rooted corruption in the police force.

Duterte instead directed the PDEA, a small fraction of the size of the PNP, to take over the lead and ordered the Philippine Army to help. (SunStar Philippines)