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Two ex-cops, two others fall in buy-bust operations

CEBU, Philippines - Two former police officers and two others were arrested in two separate anti-illegal drug operations last Saturday in Cebu City, yielding more than P23,000 worth of drugs.

In a buy-bust operation at Sitio Maracas, Barangay Lahug, Cebu City at around 7 a.m. last Saturday, police operatives from the Abellana Police Station Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) arrested former policeman Aaron Estarte 34, a resident of Purok 8, Barangay Kamputhaw.

He was placed under surveillance for two weeks after intelligence reports tagged him as a level-two drug pusher and a high-value target.

An undercover policeman posed as a buyer and purchased a medium-sized shabu from Estarte worth P3,000.

After successfully consummating the transaction, back-up policemen swarmed around him for the arrest and recovered an additional three medium and small packs of shabu.

Abellana Police Station Chief Maria Theresa Macatangay said the confiscated shabu will undergo assessment after the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-7 released the updated dangerous drugs board value of illegal drugs.

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According to Estarte, he stopped showing up at work in November 2011 after his common-law wife reportedly constantly nag at him whenever he goes to work.

This prompted his station chief to issue an administrative case against him for being absent without leave or (AWOL), until he was officially removed from the service in 2012.

Estarte said he joined the illegal drug trade after losing his source of income, recalling it as a means of survival or “kapit sa patalim.”

In a separate buy-bust operation led Regional Special Operations Group in Central Visayas (RSOG)-7 and members of the Abellana Police Station (DEU), authorities arrested a retired police officer and two of his cohorts last Saturday at C’est La Vie Pension along Juana Osmeña St., Cebu City.

The suspects were Joseph Glenn Burlas, 57, a former Senior Police Officer 1, and his two alleged cohorts, Gefrey Bulado and Daniel Aves.

RSOG-7 Chief Rey Magdaluyo said the police hierarchy demoted Burlas three times for unknown reasons during his service.  When the suspect retired, his rank was just Police Officer 1.

During the operation, Burlas reportedly sold P20,000 worth of illegal drugs to an undercover policeman who signaled back-ups to apprehend the suspect and his cohorts in the area.

Confiscated from them were two medium packs of suspected shabu, weighing 10 grams and has an estimated value of P118,000.

A tactical interrogation was still conducted on the suspects to extract information on their area of distribution.

The arrested suspects are temporarily held inside the police station’s detention cell while waiting for the filing of appropriate charges in violation to Republic Act 9165 or Dangerous Drug Board Act of 2002 against them. —/GAN (FREEMAN)

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