ANTI-NARCOTICS agents have arrested in a drug-bust over the weekend a Misamis Occidental village official whose name figured in President Rodrigo Duterte’s list of supposed drug personalities.
Operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Northern Mindanao nabbed Jojo Lapura, 37, a village official of barangay Northern Poblacion, Baliangao town on Sunday morning, October 29.
Authorities also arrested Lapora's common-law wife Marivic Basalo from Ozamis City, for conspiracy in the drug trade.
Seized from the suspects' possession were five sachets of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as "shabu," worth P7,000; a motorcycle used for transporting illegal drugs and a cellphone were drug transactions were made.
PDEA-Northern Mindanao agent Ben Calibre said they have been following the illegal drug activities of Lapura after his name appeared in the President's drug list.
Calibre said the suspects are known as drug suppliers and users in the area and in neighboring towns.
The PDEA, however, could not link the suspects to the Parojinog drug group in Ozamis City.
"Taod-taod na gyud nato ni sila gimonitor pinaagi sa intelligence operation kay ilado gyud nang suspect sa area nga maoy ga-supply sa droga.
Lapura was considered as high value target considering his influence as village official and his capacity to dispose items and coverage in the illegal drug trade.
Calibre said Lapura was also supplying drugs at the cockpit in the area.
"Gawas nga ga-supply siya sa mga street level pushers, gabaligya ug ga-supply pud siya sa bulangan kay mahilig mani siyag bulang at the same time mamaligya," Calibre said.
The PDEA-Northern Mindanao filed drug charges against the couple on Monday, October 30.
Meanwhile, the anti-narcotics agents in Misamis Oriental arrested another target-listed drug personality after his house was searched through a court order on Friday, October 27 in Balingoan town.
The drug suspect was identified as Reynaldo Waban, 56, alias 'Rey Wabs', resident of Upper Baoc-baoc, Balingoan town.
Seized from his possession were six sachets of suspected shabu in different sizes, weighing some 25 grams and valued around P150,000; a caliber 45 pistol with two magazines and nine live bullets.
"Walay license ang armas unya ilado pud na siya nga big supplier sa drugs diha sa ilang area," Calibre said.
Calibre said Waban was a known supplier of shabu in Balingoan and in neighboring towns.
The PDEA charged the suspect with possession of illegal drugs. Authorities said the suspect cannot post bail.