A TOUGHER campaign against illegal drugs has forced some drug peddlers in Cebu to reduce shabu prices to P60 for a small sachet, about one-third of what it used to be, a police official said.
Supt. Rex Derilo, the Regional Intelligence Division (RID) chief, said the decrease in price can also be attributed to some drug pushers’ fear that they might get killed once President-elect Rodrigo Duterte assumes office.
From January to May 22 this year, the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 has seized 9,074.15 grams of shabu, worth an estimated P106,447,286, in 1,098 operations.
Derilo said they arrested 1,615 suspected drug personalities.
In the same period in 2015, the PRO 7 arrested 1,550 suspects in 1,145 operations. They also confiscated 8,121.30 grams of shabu worth an estimated P95,835,925.
For Derilo, the drop in shabu’s price is a good sign that the campaign against drugs is having an impact. A small pack used to cost P200 to P300.
Duterte, who won the presidency by a margin of more than six million votes last May 9, has promised to wage war against illegal drugs and other heinous crimes. Among his campaign promises was that he would suppress crime within three to six months.
Derilo, however, said the police still have to validate reports they received from informants.
Chief Supt. Patrocinio Comendador Jr., the PRO 7 director, said they are not just going after small-time drug personalities.
“We are going after high-value, high-quality targets,” he said during the 88th Talakayan Sa Isyung Pulis forum.
Last Saturday dawn, PRO 7 operatives killed suspected drug lord Rowen “Yawa” Secretaria and two alleged companions in his home in Banacon islet, Getafe, Bohol.
Comendador said that more buy-busts should be conducted and operatives should not hesitate to retaliate at a drug personality who triggers a shootout.
Apart from the alleged drug personalities, the police also arrested 78 of the most wanted personalities in the cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, and Mandaue, Cebu Province, Bohol and Siquijor from Feb. 29 to May 29 this year, Derilo said.
There are 460 most wanted criminals in Central Visayas, according to the RID records.
The Cebu City Police Office ranked first during the period, making 28 arrests.
As to Duterte’s statement urging police officers with pending cases in court to resign or retire before he assumes office on June 30, police officials said this needs further study.
There are 56 police officers with pending criminal cases in different courts in the region.
Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division Chief Henry Biñas said there are 27 officers who are facing murder cases, and seven who are on trial for physical injuries.
Two officers were charged with allegedly violating Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The rest are facing homicide, attempted murder, robbery, theft, maltreatment, indirect contempt, arbitrary detention and graft charges.
Comendador pointed out there are more than 8,000 officers working for PRO 7.
While police officials updated journalists about their operations so far, two women and a man were arrested by the Mabolo Police Station for allegedly having a pot session in Sitio Malinao, Barangay Carreta.
Buckets of parts
Police identified the suspects as Rezan Ipili, 19; Rhea Avila, 19; and Liezel Yuhardo, 20.
Police were going after Rolly Ruis, 33, the subject of the Oplan Bulabog operation, but he reportedly fled in a taxi. Ipili had also been previously profiled by the station as a snatching suspect.
Chief Insp. Wildemar Tiu of the Mabolo Police Station said that the group snatches people’s valuables, then flees on a motorcycle.
Avila, Ruis’s live-in partner, and Yuhardo, who is seven months pregnant, were also picked up for questioning.
Police found on the scene 15 small packs of shabu, 17 rounds of live ammunition from a KG-9 and a silencer.
Two buckets full of cellphone parts, a mask, a wig and a helmet were also confiscated from the suspects.
Another police operation also resulted in the arrest of Baltazar Mialda Du, 43; Gabison Landongan Jr., 27; and Christian John Arsiga Andrino, 25.
They were caught in a checkpoint in Barangay Carreta, Cebu City yesterday. Evidence of illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia were confiscated from them.
In a separate operation, a 19-year-old alleged drug personality was arrested in Talamban, Cebu in a buy-bust.
Police identified the suspect as Mark Kevin Flores, who hails from Lower Tac-an, Budlaan and who was on the drug watch list of Talamban Police Station.
The suspect was caught when a decoy transacted with him.
Recovered from the suspect were 11 small packs and one big pack of shabu, and P600 cash.
In a separate operation, a patrol team from the Parian Police Station arrested Valentino Marposa in Barangay T. Padilla. Police found two small packs of shabu and drug paraphernalia on him.
During another anti-drug operation by the Punta Princesa Police Station, police apprehended the alleged operator of a drug den.
Police identified him as Junrex Labrador, 21, who hails from Sitio Mangga, Tres de Abril.
A team led by SPO1 Noel Caretero of Police Station 10 led the buy-bust operation, which started at 3 p.m. and ended three hours later.
The police said they took from Labrador 28 small packs of shabu, three P100 bills that were used during the buy-bust and P700 cash.
The suspects will be charged with violating Republic Act 9165, also known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Acts of 2002.