No. 1 drug leader, 3 others nabbed in buy-bust operation in Region 1

Published November 26, 2020, 8:58 AM

by Liezle Basa Iñigo

PANGASINAN — A notorious drug leader and three others were arrested in a buy-bust operation in Barangay Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union on Wednesday. 


Police Regional Office 1 (PRO 1) Director Brig. Gen.  Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr. reported to Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Gen. Debold M. Sinas on Thursday that the arrested suspects were Christian Casugay Rivera, 29; Harvey Munar Singson, 40; Medrick Arafiles Dela Cruz, 21; and Michelle Leria Luken, 23.

Rivera was tagged as the leader of the Rivera Drug Group operating in Region 1 and was a subject of manhunt operations. He is believed to be behind the murder of a 22-year-old employee of the Philippine Statistic Authority Region 1 in Pagdaraoan, San Fernando City, La Union last October 10.

The operatives conducted a buy-bust operation against Rivera for violation of Section 5, Article II of Republic Act 9165 by virtue of a Warrant of Arrest issued by Presiding Judge Victor O Conception, RTC Branch 66, San Fernando City, La Union.

As the warrant of arrest was being served, one of the suspects, identified as Harvey M Singson, fired at the arresting team prompting the operative to fire back. No casualties were reported.  

Azurin said the operatives seized from the suspects one piece plastic sachet containing suspected shabu; P1,000 peso bill (marked money) two Uzi firearm; one hand grenade; four pieces caliber .22 pistols loaded with magazines and ammunition; two caliber .45  pistols loaded with magazines and ammunition; one 375 replica revolver; assorted magazines and live ammunition; three handheld radio; six cellphones; 21 pcs heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance suspected to be shabu weighing 20 grams and with an estimated value of P136,000; a digital weighing scale, and different drug paraphernalia.

The Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) also conducted an immediate investigation on the place of incident and was able to recover one (1) unit caliber 9 mm Taurus pistol loaded with 6 ammunition, 4 cartridge cases of 9mm, 5 fired cartridge case for cal 5.56 and 1 deformed fire bullet. (With Erwin Beleo)

“This is not the end of our efforts. We will strengthen our operation to apprehend drug personalities,’’ Azurin said. (With a report from Erwin Beleo)