Dermatologist nabbed in Butuan City buy-bust

Published July 20, 2019, 1:44 PM

by Dr. Eduardo Gonzales

By Mike Crismundo

BUTUAN CITY – A physician was nabbed in a buy-bust operation conducted by agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and Caraga Police Regional Office 13 (PRO 13) on Pili Drive, Ochoa Avenue in Barangay Lapu-Lapu, this city Thursday night.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (MANILA BULLETIN)
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (MANILA BULLETIN)

PDEA 13 identified the arrested suspect as Dr. Guillermo C. Almacen, 47, and an aesthetic medicine specialist. He later tested negative for drug use after his arrest.

But PDEA 13 spokesperson Dindo Abellanosa said the negative drug test result did not entirely get Almacen off the hook.

The drug test was conducted on the suspect immediately after his arrest Thursday night.

Abellanosa pointed out that while the negative result cleared Almacen of suspicion of drug use, the physician would nevertheless be charged with violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, particularly Section 11 (Possession of Dangerous Drugs) and Section 5 (Sale of Dangerous Drugs) –a non-bailable offense.

“Mere use of a drug and his possession and the selling of shabu are different offenses,” alleged the PDEA 13 spokesperson.

Almacen was arrested in a buy-bust operation conducted at around  6:50 p.m. July 18.

Abellanosa said PDEA agents seized from the suspect about 11 sachets of shabu worth more than P40,000.

Aside from suspected shabu, operatives also confiscated from him a cellular phone and the marked money used in the alleged buy-bust operation, the PDEA 13 regional spokesperson said.

The successful buy-bust operation was conducted by the elements of PDEA 13 Agusan del Norte Provincial Office, PDEA 13 Dinagat Islands Provincial Office, PDEA 13 Seaport Interdiction Unit, PDEA 13 Airport Interdiction Unit, PDEA13 K-9 Unit, all under the supervision of PDEA 13 Regional Director III Aileen T. Lovitos.

Lovitos ordered a thorough investigation for further arrests of the other alleged companions of the arrested physician.

The suspect is currently detained at PDEA 13 Custodial facility, Libertad, Butuan City while cases for Violation of Section 5 (Sale of dangerous Drugs) and Section Xl (possession of Dangerous Drugs) Article 2 of RA 9165 are prepared for filing before the Office of the City Prosecutor of Butuan City, the PDEA 13 spokesperson added.