6 shabu dealers nabbed in 3 Central Mindanao stings

John Unson - Philstar.com
6 shabu dealers nabbed in 3 Central Mindanao stings
The barangay councilor Vergel Banga Bautista, arrested after selling shabu to anti-narcotics agents on Feb. 29, 2024 in Barangay Katipunan in Kidapawan City, is now detained.
Photo courtesy of Philstar.com / John Unson

COTABATO CITY — Anti-narcotics agents seized P718,760 worth of shabu from six more shabu peddlers, one of them a barangay official, busted in three separate entrapment operations in Central Mindanao in just three days.

The first to fall were the accomplices Noria Abpet Kumpo and Ricky Palaguyan Abdul, arrested on Tuesday after selling P680,000 worth of shabu to combined agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the Cotabato City Police Office in Barangay Rosary Heights 2, Cotabato City. 

PDEA-BARMM’s director, Gil Cesar Castro, said on Friday that they have charged the duo with violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, now awaiting prosecution.

A day later, PDEA-BARMM agents and operatives from the Cotabato CPO and the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region arrested the drug den operator Marlon Salem and his two cohorts, Juharie Kalog and Esmael Mohammad, in a tradeoff right in the premises of their hideout in Purok Avocado in Barangay Mother Bagua, Cotabato City.

Castro said Salem, Kalog and Mohammad voluntarily turned themselves in when they learned that they had sold P34,000 worth of shabu to PDEA-BARMM agents and policemen disguised as drug dependents.

Plainclothes agents of PDEA in Region 12 arrested on Thursday a barangay councilman, Vergel Banga Bautista, after turning over to them P4,760 worth of shabu during an entrapment operation in Barangay Katipunan in Kidapawan City, the capital of Cotabato province.

Aileen Lovitos, director of PDEA-12, said Bautista is a first-termer member of the barangay council in Katipunan, elected during the Oct. 30, 2023 synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

Lovitos said the sting that led to his arrest was planned and enforced after PDEA-12 agents in Cotabato province had received information about his shabu peddling activities from his constituents in Barangay Katipunan.

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