THE husband of a policewoman and the daughter of a barangay tanod were among the 14 persons arrested by police operatives in a buy-bust in Sitio Tamboo in Barangay Kawit, Medellin last Wednesday.
A team from the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) seized 55 grams of shabu worth P640,000 from the suspected drug users who were sniffing shabu in makeshift tents in the interior part of the village.
In Cebu City, the police’s anti-drugs operation in different barangays resulted in the arrest of 14 persons last Wednesday. A suspected drug user was also shot dead by an unidentified man.
Supt. Rodolfo Albotra Jr., the Provincial Intelligence Branch chief, said the main target of the operation in Medellin, Rodito “Allan” Gallardo, eluded arrest.
Rodito is top four in the list of drug personalities. He is allegedly a level two drug pusher whose areas of distribution include Daanbantayan, Bogo City, San Remigio and other towns in northern Cebu.
His customers are mostly motorcycle-for-hire drivers and jobless men.
Rodito and his brother Alvin fled but their cousin Joel was wounded after he tried to shoot it out with the operatives. Joel was brought to the Virallo District Hospital for treatment of gunshot wounds in the right leg and abdomen.
Albotra said the anti-drug operations in Barangay Lamintak have forced drug dealers and users to transfer to other barangays. The junkies sniff shabu in “kubol-kubol” (makeshift tents) hidden in the bushy area of Tamboo.
“They transferred to Kawit to get away...The area is in the interior,” he said.
Alvin’s common-law wife, Jennylin Padasas Matias, was caught. She is the daughter of a tanod in Barangay Basak, Mandaue City.
Matias denied they are engaged in the drugs trade, saying it is only Rodito who sells shabu.
She said her husband is a mere fisherman.
Matias said she came from the market to buy goods before she was arrested by operatives of the PIB and the Provincial Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group.
She said an asset had identified her as a drug user.
Her father said Alvin and Matias met while they worked in a bakery in Lapu-Lapu City nine years ago. They had eloped.
Paul Jake Barrientos Itang, the policewoman’s husband, said he did not go to the area to sniff shabu, but to deliver the passport to his friend Raymond.
He said that a raid was being conducted in the kubol-kubol when he arrived.
He said he uses shabu but did not use some that day.
Itang claims to be a former construction worker in Australia.
A police officer said his wife is a member of the Regional Public Safety Batallion and is facing an administrative complaint for going absent without filing an official leave the past two weeks.
The policewoman reportedly often fights with Itang and is left alone to take care of their two children.
Aside from Joel, Itang, and Matias, the other arrested suspected drug users are Raymond Serbise Redilla, Albec Briones Capote, Rannie Jun Rossel Conde, Kerwin Initan Buan, Jerry Alimpos Villamor, Albert Rosos Engahin, Brenn Pastropile Ando, Alvin Montana Cuyos, Daryl John Basoy Malinao, Jeobenus Mandawe Setenta, and Rodulfo Saberon Ceniza.
Aluminum tin foils, aluminum strips with shabu traces, disposable lighters, cell phones, a Power Custom .357 Magnum revolver without a serial number and loaded with four to six live ammunition, and six motorcycles were also seized during the operation in Tamboo.
Receipts from money transfer firms were also recovered.
The operatives read a text message in one of the suspects’ cell phone, instructing the owner to burn the receipts so the police won’t be able to trace the supplier of the shabu.
Albotra said a team is tracking down the Gallardo brothers.
Complaints for violating Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, will be filed against the suspects.
Several anti-narcotics operations took place in Medellin in the past three months and several drug pushers were either killed or wounded.
Some P17 million worth of shabu were confiscated.
Last March 2, Jerson Lucero was wounded after he allegedly tried to engage the police in a gunfight in Kawit.
Hanzel Noynay Valiente also died after he engaged in a shootout with the PIB and Paidsotg operatives in Lamintak Norte last May 10.
The police seized some P2 million worth of shabu and firearms from the suspect.
Two days later, a team from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group 7 seized P15 million worth of shabu in Lamintak Norte.
Suspect John Neil Cabatingan, a former overseas worker, fled after he sensed he was negotiating with policemen.
In Villagonzalo II in Barangay Tejero, Cebu City, suspected drug user Alfredo Domingo, 33, was killed by an unidentified gunman inside a drug den yesterday.
Three empty shells of 9mm pistol and a tinfoil used for sniffing shabu were found in the crime scene.
According to PO3 Alberto Diamante of the Homicide section of the Cebu City Police Office, residents of the area said the drug den was frequented by drug users.
The suspect sustained two gunshot wounds, one in his shoulder blade and one on his left cheek.
In the operation in Calamba, operatives of the City Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operative Task Group (Caidsotg) 7 caught 10 suspected drug users having a pot session in the house of Anabelle Abellana, 50, in Sitio Mahayahay.
The Caidsotg headed by Senior Inspt. Eunil Avergonzado stormed Abellana’s residence where she was arrested.
The police identified the other suspects as Abner Regudo, 27, Girly Violanda, 32, Alexander Padillo, 45, Dennis Denoyo, 34, Rogelim Abellana, 23, Ryan Olingdang, 21, Glen Allosada, 29, Mark Hernane, 33, and Shao Botero, 20.
A digital weighing scale, two medium sachets and 6 small sachets of white powder believed to be shabu were recovered from Abellana’s possession while improvised sniffing paraphernalia and several small sachets of drugs were confiscated from the other suspects.
Police also recovered one peso coins worth P6,200 from Botero.
Meanwhile, the City Intelligence Branch (CIB) arrested Virgilio Machang, 50, a resident of Sitio San Miguel, Barangay Apas.
Confiscated from the suspect were seven long sachets and one medium sachet of shabu.
In a separate operation, a team from the Fuente Police Station arrested two women from Barangay Kamputhaw.
The suspects were identified as Irish Valero, 33, and Maria Cristita Benemerito, 19.
Three small sachets of shabu were found in the suspects’ possession.