THE man shot and killed in front of his girlfriend near the Taboan Public Market in Cebu City last Friday night was an elusive big-time drug pusher, an intelligence official said.
Leonardo Gesnan, 43, has been in the target list of the Cebu City Intelligence Branch (CIB) since he evaded arrest in a raid that yielded more than P3 million in suspected shabu in Barangay Pitalo, San Fernando last Nov. 3.
Gesnan was with his 14-year-old girlfriend when three unidentified men grabbed the P15,000 cash he was holding and shot him several times.
Supt. Romeo Santander, chief of the CIB, said Gesnan might have been in the city for an illegal drug transaction that night.
“Most probably, after the raid, nibalhin siya (He might have changed address after the raid),” Santander said.
The police official also noted some of Gesnan’s customers are known to be operating in Cebu City.
The operation against Gesnan and Ruel Garces in San Fernando came after the arrest of Genes Joven Ermitanio, 20, in Barangay Labangon last Oct. 31.
Ermitano, caught with P11.8 million worth of shabu, disclosed to the CIB that he had sourced his shabu from Gesnan and Garces.
Garces is still at large.
In Dalaguete yesterday, what looked like an English dictionary turned out to be a box containing P236,000 in suspected shabu in a house located across the town’s police station.
Melver Jumamil, a suspected drug pusher, reportedly left it as he ran away from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) 7 operatives, who held a buy-bust against him at 9:30 a.m.
Jumamil managed to escape through one of three hidden doors in the house, which is in Sitio La Paz, Barangay Poblacion, but his two brothers and a woman failed to run away.
The CIDG 7 arrested Jumamil’s elder brother Jonathan, 47; younger brother Melvin, 35; and Melvin’s live-in partner Elena Espinosa, 37.
Jonathan was caught with a bag that had a KG45 pistol and a .357 gun, both loaded with ammunition, as he was about to get out of the house, but didn’t make it.
Melvin, who was sleeping with Espinosa upstairs, also yielded allegedly with a medium pack and three small sachets of white crystals believed to be shabu.
Espinosa was found with five small sachets in her wallet, according to Senior Insp. Delfin Bontuyan, the CIDG 7’s chief investigator.
The undercover policeman, who transacted with Jumamil outside the house, screamed when the alleged drug pusher rushed to get in the house, indicating he needed help from other operatives.
The operatives eventually got in the house and went upstairs, believing Jumamil could have hidden there. They didn’t see the hidden doors.
Bontuyan said it was late when they realized the suspect had at least three hidden doors in the house—one in the bathroom, another
hidden on one side, and the other at the back portion, which is connected to another house.
The undercover policeman announced that he got the box Jumamil was holding during their transaction. Its outer features looked like a book, but when opened, there was hollow instead of pages.
Its grey front cover also had embedded words, “The New English Dictionary.”
The box contained a small .38 firearm, two medium packs of shabu, tin foil and other tools commonly used to sniff the drug, among others.
Bontuyan said they placed Jumamil under surveillance for about two months.
The police official noted that Jumamil had henchmen scattered across different towns and cities in southern Cebu. There were
instances when Jumamil would come to Cebu City to supply drugs.
His older brother Jonathan served as his security guard, Bontuyan said, so he was seized with two guns.
The seized firearms will also undergo ballistics examination to check if those had been used in previously recorded killings in the province.
Bontuyan said the Dalaguete Police Station and the town mayor had long known about activities of Jumamil but could not conduct an operation against him because he’s “elusive.”
He classified Jumamil as a level-two pusher and one of the biggest suppliers of shabu in Dalaguete and Badian.
The seized drugs, which has an estimated weight of 20 grams, could have fetched P236,000, according to the values set by the Dangerous Drugs Board. DTJ
The police also arrested seven suspected drug personalities and seized more than P750,000 worth of illegal drugs in separate operations in Toledo City, Talisay City, Consolacion and Boljoon last Saturday.
In Purok 5 in Barangay Carmen, Toledo City, Bobby Lequinto Arili was caught in a buy-bust at 5:10 p.m.
Seized from his possession were five big packs and three small packs of what the police believed to contain shabu.
The contraband weighs 50 grams and is worth P550,000, according to the Dangerous Drugs Board.
The operation’s target, Kadapi Puyong, was able to escape by resisting PO2 Melchezedek Batomalaque who attempted to arrest him.
Six hours later, the operatives of the Provincial Intelligence Branch (PIB) and Provincial Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group captured Marlon Cantiga in a buy-bust in Barangay Tapon, Toledo City.
Cantiga’s mother Lucia was able to evade arrest, said SPO2 Rey Solante of PIB.
The operatives confiscated three big packs and 22 small packs of suspected shabu worth P218,000 from Cantiga, a level two drug pusher who allegedly can dispose 200 grams of shabu per week.
At 1 p.m., police arrested Avelino Herna Camoro, 39, for carrying four syringes, two of which contain Nubain, in Barangay Cansaga, Consolacion.
Camoro was apprehended first for wearing a cap with a police print on it and driving a motorcycle without license plate.
Three hours later in Barangay Tanke, Talisay City, the team led by Insp. Windell Abellana arrested Samuel Heronggay Abatayo, 28; and Jesmar Gasalatan Gaviola, 33.
Five sachets of suspected shabu were taken from Abatayo and Gaviola.
In Barangay Poblacion, Boljoon, police confiscated two sachets of shabu from Camilo Luardo Lobiano, 36, in a buy-bust at 9 p.m.
Two hours later in the same barangay, police collared Geraldine Verano Basera, 42, and seized four sachets of suspected from her possession.