P1.72M worth of shabu seized
THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), in cooperation with local police authorities, is on a roll in its campaign against illegal drugs with yet another 17 suspects arrested On February 15 in a drug den in Dagupan City and 215 grams of shabu worth about P1.72 million confiscated.
In another operation on February 20, five more persons were arrested in an entrapment at an inn in Tondaligan Park, Dagupan City, including four women who are suspected to be victims of human trafficking.
Also on February 20, separate teams from PDEA Region 1 and the Rosario Police Station apprehended a 14-year-old boy who was selling two plastic sachets of shabu on the outskirts of Barangay Alipang, Rosario in neighboring La Union province.
The minor admitted he came from Tondaligan, Bonuan, Dagupan City and was paid to deliver the drugs.
Combined forces led by PDEA raided and closed down the Dagupan drug den, resulting in the arrest of its owners and visitors and the seizure of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride, illegal drug paraphernalia, as well as firearms.
Apprehended were Saidame Macaisug and Iris Bernachea, alias Titeng Macaisug, believed to be the owners and operators of the drug den.
“Closing down one of the main sources of shabu in the Region landed a big blow to the drug supplier’s activities at the same time impeding further deliveries towards the Cordillera and Ilocos. It is unfortunate that these operations further confirm the use of women and children in this malicious business,” said newly installed PDEA Regional Director Jeoffrey C. Tacio.
The suspected visitors of the den, identified as Ahmad Sarip, Amanodino Sarip, Rayan Maabo, Akmad Sarip and Gabby Wadia, who were present inside the den, were also arrested during the search.
PDEA Director General Undersecretary Arturo G. Cacdac, Jr. said the illegal drug facility and three other premises located in Sitio Tondaligan, Bonuan Gueset were raided during the simultaneous implementation of four search warrants under Operation Plan: “Valentino”.
The search warrants were served by combined operatives of PDEA Regional Office 1 Pangasinan Special Enforcement Team (PSET), under Director Jeoffrey Tacio, PDEA Special Enforcement Service, PDEA K-9 Unit, Dagupan and Pangasinan SWAT Teams, Pangasinan Provincial Police, the PNP Special Action Force, the Naval Intelligence and Security Group (NISG) and the Philippine Army.
Also apprehended during the operation were Fizal Sumangan, alias Bukare, 29, and Misbah Sumangan alias Singke, 23, both target-listed drug personalities; Noraniah Bagul, 18; Mansawi Benito, 24; Sophia Ampuan, 18; Jamal Macabantog, 24; James Ato Dornado, 24; Abolkair Sumangan, 19; and two minors, aged 16 and 17 years old. They were found possessing dangerous drugs and paraphernalia.
The 17 suspects are presently held at the Dagupan City Police Station while cases for violation of Section 11(Possession of Dangerous Drugs) and Section 12 (Possession of Drug Paraphernalia), Article II of Republic Act 9165 otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, are being prepared for filing in court.
Additional charges for violation of Section 6 (Maintenance of Drug Den) were filed against the Macaisugs, while the rest, for violation of Section 7 (Visitors of the Drug Den).
The two minors are temporarily under the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Meanwhile, at the beach cottage in Tondaligan Park, arrested in the act of selling shabu were Richard Cayabyab, 30, together with Maricris Ballesteros, 24, and Mary Ann Velasquez, 29.
Both women were openly offering “sex-for-shabu” to the covert agents.
Also arrested were Jonel Gatmaitan, 23, and Susan Sansano, 34.
Primary search in the area also uncovered two women in the act of sniffing shabu and who were also allegedly being used as prostitutes by the group.
The entrapment operation was conducted by PDEA RO1 anti-narcotics agents and members of the Police Regional Office 1 (PRO1).
Investigation showed that the open flesh trade was being used to entice new customers for illegal drugs as well as maintaining regular users.—with reports from Eva Visperas and Johanne R. Macob