CEBU CITY - About P2.5 million worth of shabu were confiscated from two women in a buy-bust in Barangay Labangon last Tuesday night.
The operation led to the arrest of two suspected drug pushers, just two days after a mother and her daughter were arrested after claiming some P8 million worth of shabu from a courier company.
The arrest was made the night before the new chief of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 assumed his post and vowed to make the fight against illegal drugs his top priority.
“It will be an all-out war against illegal drugs. There will be no compromise,” Police Chief Supt. Prudencio “Tom” Bañas said during his arrival honors as the new PRO 7 chief yesterday morning.
Bañas headed the PNP’s Human Rights Affairs Office before accepting his new assignment.
During the buy-bust last Tuesday night, four large packs and three medium packs of shabu were seized from Teresa Bulambao, 40, and Cristeta Montebon, 48.
Operatives of the Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group (RAIDSOTG) transacted with the suspects under the overpass on Natalio Bacalso Ave. at 9 p.m.
According to SPO4 Dodong Tano, the RAIDSOTG investigator, they placed Bulambao and Montebon under surveillance for two weeks and confirmed that they sold drugs.
Bulambao resides in Barangay Mambaling while Montebon is a resident of Barangay Tejero. The two are considered level two drug pushers who could sell at least 300 grams of shabu per week.
During the buy-bust, one of the operatives posed as a buyer. When Montebon handed over the illegal drugs, the operatives arrested her.
Seized from Montebon were four large packs of shabu while three medium-sized packs were confiscated from Bulambao.
Tano said they still have to find out where the suspects got the shabu, amounting to almost P2.5 million.
“We will check how they acquired this large an amount of shabu,” said Tano.
During the arrest, the two revealed that they got the shabu from a supplier named Nog-nog in Muntinlupa City.
Tano said they will also find out how the drugs were transported to Cebu if these indeed came from Muntinlupa.
Montebon and Bulambao, he added, have no previous criminal records but are believed to have been selling drugs for almost a year now.
Montebon and Bulambao are currently detained in the Waterfront Police stockade.
Two days earlier, a mother and her daughter were arrested after the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency intercepted the shabu sent in a package through a courier service.
The 20 large packs of shabu, concealed in the soles of rubber slippers, amounted to almost P8 million.
Meanwhile, Bañas said he will commend and reward those who are exemplary in their performance, and punish those who engage in illegal activities.
Aside from PRO 7 officials, Bañas’s family and classmates from PMA class 1983 also attended the turnover ceremony. Bañas was chosen after Chief Supt. Danilo Constantino relinquished his post last May.
For two months, the post of PRO 7 director was vacant and Senior Supt. Orlando Ualat, who is the deputy regional director for administration, acted as officer-in-charge.
Bañas also highlighted the need to train the police assigned in intelligence units and anti-human trafficking units in using investigation techniques.
“We will work as a team and I am expecting their full cooperation,” Bañas said in an interview.
Aside from fighting criminal elements and illegal activities, the new PRO 7 director also expressed his concern for the environment, saying the PNP will work closely with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Philippine Coast Guard in protecting marine life.
“Beaches and diving spots are an attraction here in Central Visayas. We will be a part of protecting the marine life along with the maritime law enforcement agencies,” he said.
Right after the short arrival honors for Bañas, a case conference with the different police officials in the region was held to discuss the plans of the new PRO 7 director.
Bañas is a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy Batch Matikas.
Born in Iloilo City, he was previously assigned to the PRO 7 a few years ago as chief of the Regional Intelligence Operation and the Presidential Anti-Crime Emergency Response 7.