Seized P150 million drugs shipped from Myanmar
Iris Hazel M. Mascardo (The Freeman) - October 23, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The confiscated P150 million worth of illegal drugs from a former university teacher last Wednesday were transported from Myanmar, said the authorities.

Based on their coordination with their foreign counterpart, PRO-7 Director Albert Ignatius Ferro said the illegal drugs confiscated were from the “Golden Triangle” based on the manner of its packaging.

“It is a highly-compressed tea pack. When I was the director of the PNP drug group before, most of our seized drugs were in that kind of packaging, naka vacuum-pressed.  And most of those drugs are coming from Myanmar,” said Ferro.

Its initial investigation revealed that the illegal drug group where suspect Gilbert Fuensalida Lumanog, 30, is connected with were usually disposing of illegal drugs in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu and some areas in Cebu Province.

Ferro said this has been the largest drug haul since February this year bringing their total confiscation of illegal drugs to 100 kilos already.

“We believe that the island is very porous.  Remember that PDEA-7 (personnel) two months ago were able to seize (illegal drugs) from the pier... these are all smuggled illegal drugs,” said Ferro.

Ferro added the operation was a product of their close collaboration with the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) wherein their drug enforcement unit has been monitoring Lumanog for a month.

The suspect was arrested in a buy-bust operation in Barangay Subabasbas, Lapu-Lapu  City at around 4:30 p.m. last October 21. Lumanog was identified to be a former university teacher in Cebu City.

“They (NCRPO) suspect that the illegal drugs will be coming here in Cebu and they are able to identify the possible culprits and that particular person is included in our top 10 priority of our regional high-value individuals (in illegal drug trading),” Ferro told reporters.

Ferro said they are currently conducting further investigation to determine the possible connections of the suspect here in Central Visayas. Lumanog reportedly stood as the ‘bodegero’ of this drug group.

Other Operations

Just a day after, the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) conducted two different buy-bust operations which resulted in the arrest of two high-value individuals over the areas of Metro Cebu.

The latest operation was conducted in Sitio Tuburan, Punta Princesa, Cebu City at around 5:10 a.m. yesterday that resulted in the arrest of Rhoy Stephen Himang, 23, a high-value individual in the regional level.

The operatives from Police Station 10 were able to confiscate 800 grams of suspected shabu estimated to value P5.4 million.

A separate operation by the Cebu City Intelligence Unit in Nivel Hills, Lahug, Cebu City yielded 26 grams of suspected shabu with estimated value of P176,800 and the recovery of a .38 revolver with four bullets.

The arrested suspect was identified as Julius Kay Hermosa Pacaldo, 29, a resident of the area.

Relieved

Meanwhile, the three remaining agents among the five who allegedly faked a buy-bust operation in Dumaguete City were relieved from their post, following the order of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) headquarters, said Regional Director Levi Ortiz.

In an interview yesterday, Ortiz said that he has already signed an order coming from their national headquarters to relieve the involved agents in an alleged fake buy-bust operation conducted wherein the alleged drug suspects were illegally arrested last July 28 in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.

“Gi instruct nami i-relieve sila sa Negros Oriental PDEA Provincial Office ug re-assign sa Admin Holding Office. Pasabot ana, they will be reassigned here in the region pero dili sila tagaan ug position or designation, so floating status sila until such time na ma resolve ang issue,” Ortiz told reporters.

Ortiz said there were originally five agents involved in the incident, however, one was already reassigned in NCR while another one was re-assigned in Region 8. The third one has already been transferred in PDEA-7 headquarters while the two remained in the PDEA office in Negros Oriental.

At present, the agents involved are facing investigation and will possibly be charged with both administrative and criminal charges pending the result that will be conducted by the investigators from the national headquarters.

Ortiz said he has not been remiss in reminding his agents of their relentless campaign against illegal drugs, however, put an emphasis that it should be imposed within the bounds of the law. — GAN (FREEMAN)

ILLEGAL DRUGS
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