NINETEEN drug pushers and users were arrested by operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Central Visayas (PDEA 7) during their implementation of search warrants in four suspected drug dens situated in Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.
Operatives of PDEA 7 led by their director, Levi Ortiz, were implementing four search warrants in four houses in two sitios in Mambaling at around 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday, resulting in their uncovering of drug dens with people using illegal drugs and the confiscation of around P341,836 worth of illegal drugs.
Ortiz said they started their anti-illegal drug operation in Sitio Jai-Alai, in which they raided a drug den and arrested five men including Michael dela Peña, who allegedly operates the drug den.
Aside from Dela Peña, also arrested were Malyn Flores, Blanch Salaritan, Virgilio Ruiz and Ericxis Campaña.
Following the arrest of Dela Peña and his four cohorts, another five people were caught by PDEA 7 operatives during a pot session in another house in the same sitio.
Arrested were Elvis Allera, the alleged drug den operator, and users John Catipay, Jolious Abanilla, Manolito Servado and Rufo Servado.
After raiding the second house, PDEA 7 operatives also arrested six people in another house which was converted into a drug den.
Arrested were Gaudencio Barcelono, who owns the drug den, and his cohorts Genry Artesuela, Larlie Torreon, Jessa Mae Cabesas, Jefrey Ochia and Christoper Antipuesto.
At around 5 p.m. on the same day, PDEA 7 operatives also conducted another raid in a suspected drug den in Sitio Huyong-Huyong which resulted in the arrest of drug den maintainer Edwin Doble, Junjun Pejares, Tejero Talisic and Renato Gobalani Cristota.
Ortiz told Superbalita Cebu that they initially received information from residents in the barangay that the selling of illegal drugs was becoming rampant in the two sitios.
“Though their illegal drug business is only small compared to those of big-time sellers, they attract customers because they allow their houses to be used as drug dens upon selling their products,” Ortiz said.
This prompted Ortiz and his operatives to initiate operations to prevent these drug dens from becoming rampant.
Ortiz added that drug sellers in the area are reportedly getting their supply from other big-time drug sellers.
Ortiz said they already secured information on the identity of one of the suspects’ drug suppliers but won’t disclose it for operational purposes.
He added that their recent operation is also in line with their Barangay Drug Clearing Program which aims to declare barangays as “drug cleared.”
But Ortiz said barangays cannot be considered “drug cleared” if there are drug dens or drug personalities still present in their areas.
He also urged barangay officials to closely monitor their sitios or puroks if there are illegal drug personalities present and report to law enforcement authorities for immediate action. (AYB / JKV)