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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Lawyer, businessman nabbed in drug bust

FIVE drug suspects, including a lawyer, a businessman, and a member of the national dart team, were arrested in a sting operation Wednesday, March 22, at the Tejero compound, Patag, Cagayan de Oro City.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Northern Mindanao identified the suspects as Douglas Galam, a videoke rental business owner; lawyer Ben Johnson Pabelic, a former clerk of court at Regional Trial Court Branch 37; Richard Edroso, a carpenter; Derrick Du, a welding rod agent; and Alex Tagarao, a member of the national dart team.

PDEA agent Ben Calibre said Galam was the subject of the drug bust. The four others were arrested after they were caught supposedly having a pot session inside a room branded by authorities as a drug den.

Seized were some P600,000 worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu and other drug paraphernalia.

Calibre said the suspects were found positive for illegal drug use except for Tagarao whose drug test yielded negative.

The PDEA agent said residents near the compound have also been complaining due to the loud noise from the house known drug dependents frequented.

Calibre added Galam also snitched on some personalities in the government who are allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade.

The PDEA, however, will have to validate the information to ensure veracity of the report.

“Atong i-validate ang mga pangalan nga iyang gi-mention nga connected sa government ug involved sa droga kay basin naa siyay kasuko (The names he mentioned will be subjected to verification because he might have a grudge against these people),” Calibre said.

Calibre said Galam will face charges for several violations of Republic Act (RA) 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act particularly on selling (section 5), maintenance of a drug den (section 6), possession of illegal drugs (section 11), possession of illegal drug paraphernalia (section 12) and illegal drug use (section 15).

Pabelic, Edroso and Du will be charged with violation of RA 9165 Sections 7 or employees and visitors of a drug den, 11, 12, and section 15.

Calibre said the charges filed against the suspects are not bailable except for Tagarao who could possibly post bail after being charged with section 7 of RA 9165 only.
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