Cops, PDEA take down big-time drugs syndicate in Bulacan

P70-M worth of shabu seized in Bulacan

CAMP GENERAL ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan -- Joint elements of the Meycauayan City police, Provincial Intelligence Branch, Philippine National Police (PNP) Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG), and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) neutralized a big-time illegal drugs syndicate after a major buy-bust operation on Wednesday (July 1).

The police and anti-illegal drug agents arrested eight suspects, most of them on the government's watch list of high-value targets in the war against illegal drugs, and seized more than 10 kilograms of shabu (crystal methamphetamine) with a street value of P70 million pesos.

Bulacan Provincial Police Office Director Col. Lawrence B. Cajipe said the syndicate has open access to warehouses operated by a group with direct connections to the main source of illegal drugs from mainland China, and is responsible for the bulk distribution of illegal drugs in Central Luzon, Metro Manila, and some parts of Southern Tagalog areas.

Cajipe said the neutralization of the big-time illegal drugs syndicate is part of the PNP’s campaign in Central Luzon under the direct supervision of Police Regional Office 3 Director Brig. Gen. Rhodel Sermonia.

The Bulacan director re-echoed the anti-illegal drug policy statements of President Duterte and Chief PNP Gen. Archie Gamboa to all police commanders, and told them to take advantage of the quarantine to deny illegal drug traders the liberty of movement and to take offensive measures in neutralizing them.

Cajipe, in his report to Sermonia, said joint operating units led by Police Lt. Col. Bernard Pagaduan, Meycauayan City chief of police, arrested Sandy Domingo, 41, and Christian Villaflores, 39, of Meycauayan City; Nida Barrientos, 54, and Rhodora Jose, 43, of Tondo, Manila; Milky Joy Principe, 33, of Marilao, Bulacan; Kevin Limbo, 27, and Bernard Flores, 46, of Valenzuela City; and Clifford Bello, 35, of San Jose Del Monte City.

The investigation report showed that around 6:30 in the morning of July 1, Domingo and two of the female suspects were arrested by Pagaduan and his men in a buy-bust operation at Centro 2, Barangay Pantoc, Meycauayan City, in which some 100 grams of suspected shabu were confiscated. 

Pagaduan said after the arrests, Domingo voluntarily confessed his source of illegal drugs – Villaflores -- and agreed to cooperate with the police for another transaction with his suppliers for one kilogram of shabu worth P1.2 million.

Pagaduan said that at around 9:30 am of the same day while waiting for the suspects along the Pandayan road of Meycauayan City, Villaflores arrived on board a gray Toyota Camry with plate number XNF-319.

After some small talk, the suspect received money from a police covert operative and handed him a cube wrapped in aluminum plastic containing a white crystalline substance suspected to be shabu.

Police authorities immediately placed the suspects under arrest after the transaction was made. The arresting team also discovered in the Camry’s trunk another seven cubes also wrapped in aluminum foil and plastic, all containing shabu.

All the suspects will be charged with violating Sections 5, 11, and 26 of Article II of Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Manila drug busts

Meanwhile, in Manila, over P270,000 worth of suspected shabu was seized in several buy-bust operations on Tuesday (June 30) and Wednesday (July 1).

Police arrested Darwin Segovia, 35, and John Leonard Cabrera, 31, both residents of Muntinlupa City, in a sting along P. Ocampo Street in Malate at around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. 

Three sachets of suspected shabu weighing up to five grams and worth around P34,000 were recovered from the suspects. 

Jorge Lectura and Leo Carlo Miralles were collared in another drug bust at Barangay 454 in Sampaloc, Manila around two hours later.

Retrieved from the suspects were three sachets of suspected shabu weighing up to 14 grams with an estimated value of P80,000. 

At around 1 a.m. on Thursday, police nabbed Ruel Acebuche, 28; Alme Abello, 19; Cristobal Simeon, 26; and Nashrudin Managay, 41, in a buy-bust operation at the Baseco Compound in Port Area, Manila. 

Five sachets of suspected shabu weighing around nine grams and worth about P61,200 were seized from the suspects. 

Meanwhile, Rachel Cabral, 42; Russel John Cabral, 41; and Jocelyn Vincoy, 38; yielded five sachets of suspected shabu weighing eight grams and valued at P54,400 in a drug sting at Barangay 30 in Tondo, Manila. 

Three sachets of suspected shabu weighing around 6.9 grams and worth about P47,000 were also recovered from Liezel Santiago, 35, and Ian Ramal, 42, in a buy-bust operation at Barangay 38 in Tondo, Manila. 

The retrieved pieces of evidence were turned over to the Manila Police District-Crime Laboratory Office (MPD-CLO) for laboratory examination. 

The suspects, who are now under police custody, will also face charges for violating RA 9165. (With a report from Minka Tiangco)