8 nabbed for sale of party drugs
(The Freeman) - January 21, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Police arrested eight persons involved in distributing party drugs during a string of operations that started in a pension house located on E. Benedicto Street, Cebu City Friday night.

Authorities from the Regional Intelligence Division (RID) and Regional Drug Enforcement Unit (RDEU) conducted a buy-bust operation against a certain Claude Bernard Deen Peña that resulted to the arrest of five others.

A covert cop used a marked money and posed as buyer of another form of ecstasy, which is termed as "Barcelona ecstasy" due to its design, where the Barcelona football team's symbol is embedded.

Upon successfully consummating the transaction, backup police closed in for the arrest.

Peña's alleged cohorts were also arrested during the operation. They were identified as Diana Rose Cabiling Revellas, 21, a resident of Binlod, Argao, college student; Ann Marielle Villahermosa, 26, from Barangay Sangi Calajoan, Minglanilla; Justin Santillan, 21, from Basak Bontores, Cebu City, college student; Kevin Caballero,25, from Gun-ob Lapu-Lapu City, a call center agent; Jaybee Ocat, 20, from Malabuyoc, Cebu.

The group yielded 16 tablets of ecstasy with an estimated worth of P16,000.

Peña, who has been pointed to as the source, revealed to authorities that he got his supply from a certain Pamela Gasinas.

Police Regional Office (PRO)-7 confirmed one of the sources of the ecstasy confiscated were sold during a party held in Mandaue.

Gasinas was accordingly arrested near the party held in Mandaue City at that time.

"As evidenced with the arrest of Pamela, there was ecstasy sold in Lifedance," Police Superintendent Josefino Ligan, deputy chief of RID, said.

Immediately police led an entrapment operation and recovered from Gasinas three more tablets of ecstasy.

During the cross-interrogation, Gasinas divulged she sourced her supply from Ryan Didaton, a native of Iligan City and residing in Manila.

Police have arrested Didaton, inside his room in a high-rise hotel located along Gen. Maxilom Avenue.

Didaton yielded 28 more tablets of ecstasy.

The police consider him a top distributor of party drugs in Cebu.

"Definitely he is a high-value target involved.  We can say he is a top distributor, based on the sachets of ecstasy," Ligan said.

However, in a separate interview with The FREEMAN, the suspect denied that he is distributing ecstasy and said he is only in Cebu to visit his girlfriend and check his cellphone accessories business.

"Hindi naman ako nagbebenta, pero gumagamit ako," Didaton said.

It can be recalled that about two weeks ago, authorities also seized different forms of ecstasy worth P36,000 from a 40-year-old hotelier Richard Ngo Go and his supplier Neil Benjamin Yap during a series of follow-up operation.

A technical interrogation will ensue to check if suspects arrested were also connected with Yap and Go.

Ligan pointed out that though there was difference in the appearance of ecstasy confiscated from the recent arrests, it still causes the same effects.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-7 previously said that ecstasy if mixed with other toxics and alcoholic drinks becomes twice dangerous than shabu, another form of dangerous drug.

Ecstasy is reportedly sold around P1,800 to P2,000 each, according to police.  This kind of drug is targeted to a certain market due to its market value.

Newly-appointed PRO-7 Regional Director Robert Quenery expressed though that it is still a challenge on spotting party drugs as it looks similar to a regular medicine.

However, he assured that police will continue to pursue personalities involved in party drugs.

"This a warning already for them, law enforcement agencies will caught up with them.  It is my marching order when I assumed command, to enhance and  move forward in the fight against drugs," Quenery said.

Buy-bust operation

Meanwhile, an active job order employee of the municipality of Consolacion and considered as a high-value target is now at large after he was able to elude arrest during a buy-bust operation in Barangay Garing, Consolacion Cebu Thursday dawn.

Newly-installed Consolacion Police Chief Gerard Ace Pelare identified the suspect as Danny Herbieto, 38.

Pelare said that during the operation, the operatives successfully transacted with the suspect.  However, he was able to sense that he was transacting with the authorities which prompted him to run and hide by joining the crowd in the area.

The operatives, however, was able to arrest the suspect's alleged cohort identified as Clyde Tubin, 29.  The authorities recovered two small packs of suspected shabu from him.

Pelare said that the same case will also be filed against Herbieto.

Pelare said that, as the new chief of Consolacion police, he is bringing together with him his anti-illegal drugs campaign 'Oplan Limpyo' which does not only aim to arrest drug personalities but also to rehabilitate them and eventually to clear the municipality from illegal drugs.  (FREEMAN)

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