CEBU, Philippines - Police in four Cebu cities arrested 16 persons during separate anti-drug operations yesterday and the other day, seizing several packs of suspected shabu and thousands of pesos worth of cash believed to be proceeds from the sale of illegal drugs.
Roy C. Literal, 44, of Sitio Ilaya, Barangay Bolinawan, Carcar City, was jailed after he yielded 50 packs of suspected shabu during a buy-bust operation by Cebu Police Provincial Office-Provincial Intelligence Branch personnel yesterday morning.
The habal-habal (motorcycle-for-hire) driver, who was a newly identified drug personality in the city, also had with him a large pack of suspected shabu that the police said has a street value of P60,000.
Literal also yielded an unlicensed .45 pistol with six bullets, a bullet magazine and drug paraphernalia used for packing shabu.
Senior Inspector Nazareno Emia, PIB deputy chief, said Literal could dispose of 200 grams of suspected shabu weekly and that most of his customers were habal-habal drivers like him.
The police said Literal was placed under surveillance for three weeks prior to his arrest.
“Ito kasi, matagal ng minamanmanan ng operatiba. More or less 3 weeks. Kaninang umaga lang nataymingan. Nakuhanan siya namin during buy-bust operation ng gamit, marami po iyan. Inamin naman niya na sa kanya iyan. Gumamit siya dahil wala naman siyang trabaho, allegedly habal-habal driver pero iyun pala pusher,” Emia said.
In Sitio Inamuan, Barangay Lutac, City of Naga, the police also arrested three alleged drug personalities during a checkpoint Thursday afternoon.
Motorcycle driver Judy Boy Montegrande, 30, of Don Andres Soriano, Toledo City, and his passengers, identified as Eric Cabra, 43, of Carlock Street, Cebu City; and Rico Canumay, 39, of Looc Bato, Toledo allegedly tried to evade the checkpoint by immediately changing direction when they saw the policemen.
Deputy Police Chief Leo Ty told The FREEMAN that his men immediately gave chase and cornered the three.
The policemen then found five pieces of rolled tinfoil in Montegrande’s possession, two medium-size packs of suspected shabu from Cabra, and a small pack of suspected shabu from Canumay. The seized illegal drugs has an estimated value of at least P165,000.
In Lapu-Lapu City Thursday evening, the police also arrested five persons during a buy-bust operation in Sitio Mapuho Matumbo, Barangay Pusok, seizing around P8,000 worth of illegal drugs.
The operation was led by Chief Inspector Jaime Tolentino, officer-in-charge of the City Intelligence Branch and the Drug Enforcement Unit of the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office.
The police identified them as Benjie “Kokoy” Astilla, 41, from Barangay Buaya; Leonardo “Jong-jong”, 42; Ruben “Jun-jun” Obayan, 30; and Sheila “Sheila” Aliviado, 29, all from Pusok; and Rodel “Titing” Berdon, 27, from Barangay Babag.
They were arrested after the police received information that they were allegedly selling drugs in their place.
An estimated total of 7.04 grams of suspected shabu was seized from them, aside from P83,000 that was believed to be proceeds from the sale of shabu.
All three are currently detained at the LCPO while waiting for criminal charges to be filed against them.
Meanwhile, in the northern city of Danao, Verbena Venang Mugol, 35, and Analiah Tagilanzing Tion, 34, were also arrested during a buy-bust operation in Sitio Pagutlan, Barangay Maslog, yielding 25 small packs of suspected shabu, around 3 a.m. last Thursday.
An hour later, Albert Almacen Bongo, 38, was also collared after selling drugs to a poseur-buyer in Sitio Tabok, Maslog, Danao City around 3 a.m. He had with him 15 packs of suspected shabu. At around 4:45 p.m., Giovani Gala, 38, also ended up in jail after yielding 12 packs of shabu also in a buy-bust operation in the same place.
At 5 a.m., the policemen, led by Senior Inspector Gerard Pelarez, likewise arrested Danilo Galindo Dula, 31; Warren Tibon Cadampog, 28; and Lier Librero Castro, 22, after they were caught having a pot session, also in Maslog. They had with them three small sachets of suspected shabu and drug paraphernalia when they were arrested.
"This was part of our evaluation. We got this report from the residents who said that in their place rampant ang mga drug activities," said SPO1 Arnold Labine said of Danao City police station. — Iris Mariani B. Algabre, Niño Earl Tumulak, Yula Pasaol (FREEMAN)