CAMP OLIVAS -- Two police officers and a non-uniformed worker will be dismissed from service after 40 grams of alleged methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) were confiscated from them.

Senior Superintendent Valiant de Guzman, deputy regional director for administration (DRDA) of Police Regional Office-3 (PRO3), said Police Officer 3 Roberto Esguerra, Police Officer 1 Ronnel Cadena and non-uniformed personnel (NUP) Raul Capanas will be charged administratively, tantamount to dismissal from the police service.

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They are all employees of Police Station 6 of Angeles City.

The alleged shabu was confiscated from them in a buy-bust operation conducted by narcotics operatives of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Barangay Dau, Mabalacat on Wednesday.

The operation, led by PDEA Agent Froilan Bitong and 10 other operatives, resulted in the arrest of Esguerra, Cadena and Capanas, as well as a detainee identified as Paulo Calaguas.

De Guzman said the three arrested suspects will also be charged criminally for carrying firearms without proper authorization.

PDEA-3 chief Allan Ronald Ricardo said the arrested suspects had been under surveillance for their alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade in Angeles City and nearby towns.

Ricardo said that at least 40 grams of the suspected illegal drug in two heat-sealed plastic sachets amounting to P390,000 were seized from them.

When examined by authorities, however, the alleged shabu turned out to be aluminum potassium sulfate popularly known as “tawas.”

Ricardo said the suspects will still be charged under Republic Act (RA) 9165, also known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, for their attempt to sell the alleged illegal drug.

Also confiscated from the suspects were a .9mm Taurus pistol, .45 caliber pistol, one .38 caliber revolver and 33 live ammunition.

In an interview, De Guzman said the two arrested policemen and Calaguas will also be charged for illegal possession of firearms under the Comelec gun ban.

In a text message to Sun.Star Pampanga Saturday, Senior Superintendent Danilo Bautista, officer-in-charge of Angeles City Police, said he has ordered the relief of Chief Inspector Ronaldo Lorenzo, chief of Police Station 6; Esguerra, Cadena and Capanas for violation of RA 9165 or illegal possession of illegal drugs. (Ric Sapnu/With Jovi T. De Leon)