Cebu News

Graduate of drug reform program falls in buy-bust

Adelyn Landiza - The Freeman
Graduate of drug reform program falls in buy-bust
Apart from Belmoro, his cohort, 34-year-old Jilou Montalban was also arrested.
Philstar.com / Jovannie Lambayan

CEBU, Philippines — A man who completed a drug reformation program was arrested in an anti-illegal drug operation at Purok Mahayahay, Barangay Sonog, San Francisco, Camotes Island, on the evening of Feb. 23, 2024.

Jufer Belmoro, 40, identified as a high-value target, was arrested in an operation conducted by the elements of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-7 Cebu Provincial Office (PDEA-7-CPO), together with San Francisco Municipal Police Station, 82nd Infantry Batallion, 31D PA Delta Coy, and the Cebu Police Provincial Office Provincial Intelligence Unit (CPPO-PIU), with the support of the Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Council (MADAC) of the said town.

Apart from Belmoro, his cohort, 34-year-old Jilou Montalban was also arrested.

Police recovered from the operation five packs of suspected shabu weighing around 120 grams with an estimated average market value of P816,000, buy-bust money, three mobile phones, one .45-caliber pistol with two magazines and seven pieces of live ammunition, and one multicab.

According to Leia Alcantara, information officer for PDEA-7, the suspects were under surveillance for over a month and could allegedly dispose of 500 grams of suspected shabu weekly.

Alcantara said that Belmoro was a completer of the 1st batch of the Balay Silangan Reformation Program (BSRP) in San Francisco in March 2021, along with 18 other plea bargainers, and completed the program in September 2021.

She added that back then, Belmoro did not have a case since he voluntarily submitted himself to join the program.

Alcantara explained that BSRP is run by the local government unit (LGU) pursuant to Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation 3, Series of 2022 and is different from rehabilitation centers since it caters to qualified drug pushers, tagged as street-level players, who voluntarily surrenders and do not have pending cases in courts or police records.

It also accommodates clients who are plea bargainers and have court orders for BSRP, the information officer added.

"The LGU-run Balay Silangan Reformation Program gives qualified pushers the chance to once again become law-abiding and self-sustaining individuals, giving them access to various multisectoral support services. However, their completion from the program does not exempt them from liability should they violate RA 9165 again," PDEA-7 Regional Director Emerson Margate said in a press statement provided to the media.

"We also laud the Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Council of San Francisco for not letting up on their anti-illegal drug efforts and having a deep understanding of what it takes to sustain their status as a drug-cleared municipality," he added.

The suspects will face charges for violations of RA 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, and RA 10591, the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act. — (FREEMAN)

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