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P2.7M worth of drugs seized in series of buy-busts

CEBU, Philippines - More than P2 million worth of suspected shabu were seized in separate buy-bust operations in the different parts of Cebu last Thursday.

The arrested suspects were identified by the police as Jeffrey Rory Alerta, 34; Kris Jay Cañetan, 23; Gary Lavador, 41; Cristino Emiliano, 34; and Jonah Francis Tabla, 25.

The police confiscated a total of 34 packs of suspected shabu with estimated Dangerous Drug Board value of P957,576 and P3,000 believed to be proceeds of suspects’ illegal activities.

Police Officer 3 Phil Rosauro of the Danao City Police Station said that the five suspects revealed during their interrogation that a certain Jojit Gacarma, who was arrested last week, is allegedly their boss.

“Kaning lima kay amo na ning na-conduct-an og surveillance sa una.  Identified na ni sila daan nga adunay kalambigitan sa druga apan, atong Saturday, usa sa among nadakpan sa buy-bust kay nitug-an nga iya diay ning mga tawo. Kuno, gikan hatod sa supply niya iya na pud iapod-apod aning lima niya mao nay bahala sa pagpamaligya,” Rosauro told The FREEMAN in a phone interview.

Rosauro added that these five suspects were new players of illegal drug trade in the city and their business grew during the suspension of Oplan Tokhang last January.

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In Cebu City, 15 drug personalities were arrested in a series of anti-illegal drug operations, yielding more than a million worth of illegal drugs last Thursday.

Joefel Mancio Arcenal, 40, a resident of the said area, who was considered a high-value target, was arrested in a buy-bust operation in Silangan 2, Barangay Tejero, yielding P560,000 worth of suspected drugs and moli-moli machines.

In an interview, Arcenal told The FREEMAN that he had a stable job as a cargo checker in a shipping company but resorted to drug dealings to better support his family, while also tending a sari-sari store.

He, however, denied the shabu confiscated from his residence and alleged that it was left by an unidentified person.

The police operatives said they were able to purchase shabu from Arcenal through an undercover agent for a couple of times before they conducted the buy-bust operation against him.

Authorities considered Arcenal a high-value target, since he reportedly can dispose up to eight grams of shabu per week.

Tejero Barangay Captain Jessielou Cadungog said he has heard reports that Arcenal has been heading the drug business in the area.

He said the suspect was included in the drug watch list he submitted to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-7.

Cadungog added that 90 percent of those who surrendered in the Oplan Tokhang reportedly resumed in their illegal drug activities.

“Manghinaut lang gyud ko nga matinuod ma-file-an gyud ba,”Cadungog said.

Meanwhile, among the arrested suspects in the series of buy-bust operations was Dick Mapalo, 35, a resident of Sitio Manga, Tisa, who was alleged to be the hired-gunman of a police asset, Eduardo Carza, last Sunday in a motel in Barangay Carreta.

Mapalo was previously a subject of a hot-pursuit operation but was able to elude arrest.

It was his common-law wife Roem Romero, 27, who was arrested earlier for drug possession, who told the police that Mapalo was repacking shabu in a hotel located in Mabolo, Cebu City.

When the police, together with operatives from PDEA-7, conducted a follow-up operation inside the hotel, Mapalo was with thirteen other individuals reportedly transacting illegal drugs.

The police seized 80 grams worth of suspected shabu with a value of P500,000, a .45 caliber pistol and seven live ammunitions.

In a separate operation, the PDEA-7 also arrested six drug personalities, yielding P711,000 worth of suspected shabu.

Eric Lauron, 44, an electrician, and his wife, Jorel Lauron, 38, were arrested in Sitio Spolarium, Duljo-Fatima, Cebu City around 5:30 a.m. Thursday.

Authorities recovered two large packs and seven medium packs of alleged shabu valued at P561,000.

Also arrested in separate operations were Jason Pepito, 23, a store owner; Nel Lipogpog, 26, jobless; Renel Borda, 21, jobless; and Ed John Bequilla, 20, jobless.  The subject of the operation Jen-Jen Baldesamo eluded arrest. (FREEMAN)

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