By Chito Chavez
Operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Thursday nabbed a medical officer of the Department of Health (DOH) and five others during a buy-bust operation at a condominium in Mandaluyong City.
In a report submitted to PDEA Director-General Aaron Aquino, the suspects were identified as licensed physician Dr. Vanjoe de Guzman, 44; Keanu Andrea Flores, 21, student; Mark Echauz, 22; Francis Gerald Fajardo, 28; Michael Tan, 27, and one alias “Boy Kulot.’’
PDEA agent Art Alagabia of the agency’s special enforcement service (SES) said de Guzman is a medical officer 4 assigned at the DOH headquarters in Manila.
Previously de Guzman was stationed at the DOH National Capital Region (NCR) at the Mandaluyong City Hall.
Alagabia said the operation was conducted from 12 midnight to 1 a.m. at de Guzman’s condominium unit located at M. Domingo St. corner Guevarra St. Barangay Highway Hills.
Director Levi Ortiz of the PDEA SES reported the team seized six pieces of small transparent plastic sachet of shabu, one medium sized transparent sachet containing 50 grams of shabu with a street value of P340,000, numerous drug paraphernalia that included improvised pipes and aluminum foil, and six various bottles of energy drink.
The raiding PDEA agents said the suspects were injecting liquid shabu into their systems instead of the traditional way of sniffing the smoke from the solid form of the contraband.
De Guzman, Flores, and Eschauz admitted using illegal drugs but denied selling them.
The successful buy-bust operation on de Guzman’s condo unit was carried out after two months of intense surveillance.
PDEA agents also discovered sex videos of men and women after a pot session.
In a follow-up operation, PDEA agents arrested Fajardo, Tan and alias Boy Kulot when de Guzman contacted them through his cellphone and asked them to proceed to his condo unit where the operatives pounced on them.
Fajardo, Tan and alias Boy Kulot were the alleged suppliers of illegal drugs to de Guzman’s group.
Also seized from Fajardo was a packet of shabu.
The six suspects are now facing charges of violation of Republic Act 9165 otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Act of 2022.