A SUSPECTED drug pusher who had undergone addiction intervention by the local government unit (LGU) after he surrendered in 2017 was arrested in a drug bust in Barangay South Poblacion, Larena town, Siquijor Province at 10 a.m. on Friday, February 24, 2023.

Operatives of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Siquijor Provincial office and the Larena Municipal Police Station conducted the operation that resulted in the arrest of 39-year-old Angeline June Morales, alias Yanyan, 39, in South Poblacion, which has been declared a drug-cleared barangay.

A gram of shabu worth P6,000, the buy-bust money and a cellular phone were seized from Morales.

According to Leia Alcantara, information officer of PDEA 7, they subjected Morales to a case build-up before they conducted the buy-bust after receiving information that she had resumed selling illegal drugs.

At the height of former President Rodrigo Duterte's "Oplan Tokhang" campaign in 2017, Morales turned herself in. She even graduated from the LGU's drug intervention program for drug surrenderers.

According to Alcantara, Morales' arrest would not affect the barangay's drug-cleared status because it suggested that the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council was still active in the anti-drug campaign.

Alcantara said the PDEA continues to keep an eye on barangays that had been declared cleared of drugs to check if drug personalities had reverted to their old vices.

“Continuous monitoring and validation of reported illegal drug activities in drug-cleared barangays is a critical part of the drug-clearing process to ensure that such barangays are able to maintain their drug-cleared status,” she said.

Morales will be charged with violating Sections 5 and 11 of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. (AYB, TPT)