Cebu News

Family ‘caught’ with P2M drugs

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - A public high school teacher, her husband, and their three children were arrested by the police after a buy-bust operation past Monday midnight in Barangay Campo, San Francisco town in Camotes Island. Over P2 million worth of shabu was seized and several firearms confiscated.

Maria Jocelyn Arquillano, 52; and her husband Diosdado, 54, were arrested in a buy-bust operation while their sons Richard Jean, 27; Dodie, 18; their daughter Debie Sychel, 23; and their fighting cock handler Giovanie Pautan, 28, were arrested after they were allegedly caught repacking shabu in their house.

A 17-year-old minor was also taken into police custody, said Superintendent Rodolfo Albotra, Provincial Intelligence Branch chief.

The family has denied the accusations against them.

Albotra said PIB operatives went to Barangay Campo, San Francisco town in Camotes Island, after getting a search warrant from Judge Jerry Dicdican of the Regional Trial Court Branch 25 in Danao City last January 8.

After they received information a drug shipment for the couple is due to arrive on Monday, they decided to also conduct a buy-bust operation to obtain more evidence against the couple.

The police allegedly successfully bought drugs from the couple and placed them under arrest before serving the warrant on their house, during which their children were allegedly seen repacking shabu.

Police recovered five medium-sized packs and 140 small packs of suspected shabu, two KG-9 machine pistols, a .45 cal. pistol, P15,000 cash, three digital weighing scales, money forwarding receipts and drug paraphernalia.

The confiscated shabu weighed 177 grams according to Albotra and is valued at P2,088,600 based on the estimates of the Dangerous Drugs Board.

Maria Jocelyn, who has taught in a public high school for the last 22 years said she does not sell drugs and claimed she has no idea why the police would implicate her in selling drugs. She also denied that the drugs were confiscated inside their house and claimed the drugs were actually found in another house and not in the one she lived in.

The only thing she admitted was that her husband was out on bail for a drug case, but also said he was only framed for the offense and had done nothing wrong.

Diosdado also denied selling drugs but admitted owning the confiscated firearms. Their children also denied involvement in the drug trade.

Cebu Province Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Rhea Mar Angtud, said that she was saddened after she learned of the news.

She said that teachers are supposed to be role models that students should look up to, adding that an investigation will be conducted to determine if the teacher is administratively liable.

She clarified that the division’s role is like that of a fact-finding body only and it is up to the Department of Education-7 to impose a corresponding penalty to an erring employee.

Drug test for teachers

Following the arrest of Arquillano, the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Committee pushed to expedite the implementation of mandatory drug testing for teachers in the province.

Joey Herrera, CPADAC executive director, reported that the executive committee of the anti-drug council will meet on January 20 to discuss the program.

Mandatory drug testing is in adherence to a memorandum issued by DepEd-7 which covers public school teachers in school divisions throughout Central Visayas.

The education department believes that the program will safeguard the students and ensure that teachers are not under the influence of dangerous drugs.

The implementation of the mandatory drug test has been stalled for almost a year due to some technical requirements and the transition of the administration in DepEd-Cebu Province. — /BRP (FREEMAN)












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