PHILIPPINE Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) operatives arrested suspected pushers and confiscated drug paraphernalia in an operation Saturday in Cabanglasan, Bukidnon.

Lt. Col. Edwin F. Layese, PDEA Northern Mindanao director, identified those arrested as Joel Bacalso, 40, a farmer and a resident of Purok 14 Sitio Bulak, Barangay Iba in Cabanglasan, Bukidnon.

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Another suspect, a certain Roel Bernas, eluded arrest at the time of the operation.

Raid in Bacalso's residence was conducted by virtue of a search warrant issued by Executive Judge Josefina G. Bacalso of the Regional Trial Court branch 10 in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.

Recovered were three bundles of dried marijuana leaves.

Operatives recovered eight bundles of marijuana leaves in a separate raid at Bernas's residence.

Layese said the total approximate weight of the confiscated marijuana leaves was about 10 kilograms with a cumulative estimated street value of P40,000.

Both Bacalso and Bernas are included in the target list of PDEA, Layese said.

Layese said they applied for the search warrants following a series of test buys and surveillance operations on the two suspects.

Follow up operation against Bernas was still ongoing, the PDEA official said.

Bacalso, on the other hand, was temporarily detained at the PDEA-Northern Mindanao lock-up cell for booking and documentation.

Bacalso and Bernas are facing charges for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

The recovered items were turned over to the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory for comprehensive examination, Layese said. (Nicole Managbanag)