A LAWYER was arrested by authorities on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, after he was caught carrying dried marijuana leaves at the Terminal 1 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA).
Lawyer Caesar Antonio Tabotabo, 55, a resident of Jones Avenue in uptown Cebu City, was caught by personnel of the Office for Transport Security (OTS) at the airport’s departure area after he was caught carrying dried marijuana leaves stuffed inside a crumpled cigarette box.
The body scanner was able to detect the contraband on Tabotabo’s pockets.
Security personnel immediately checked Tabotabo’s pockets, but the lawyer had already fisted the cigarette box in one of his hands.
Rather than answer questions from security personnel, Tabotabo instead placed the crumpled box at a table in the departure area where security personnel inspected its contents and found the contraband.
Aside from accosting Tabotabo, personnel from OTS immediately called the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Central Visayas (PDEA 7) to have the lawyer arrested and detained.
Jojit Tubbali, PDEA 7 team leader, said they will subject the marijuana found on Tabotabo to a confirmatory test.
Tubbali said the marijuana recovered from the lawyer weighed at least a gram and had an estimated worth of P50.
Authorities are set to charged Tabotabo for illegal drug possession.
“Maliit nga pero gaano man kaliit ang isang bagay na bawal ay bawal pa rin kung may balak silang magdala wag na sila pumunta dito (airport) kasi nandito ang OTS, nandito ang PDEA nandito ang Aviation Security Unit (Even it was a small quantity, if its an illegal substance, they will be arrested by PDEA and Aviation Security Unit if they attempt to smuggle it at the airport),” Tubbali added.
Tabotabo refused to comment when reporters asked him after his arrest.
But he disclosed that he was supposed to fly to Manila for personal business on Saturday, Nov.16. (GCM/JKV)