COTABATO CITY – Anti-narcotics agents seized P10.2 million worth of shabu and arrested three “high-value” drug suspects in separate law enforcement operations in this city and the Lanao del Sur town of Malabang Thursday.
Director Juvenal Azurin of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PDEA-BARMM) said the simultaneous operations yielded 1.5 kilos of suspected shabu, a pistol, and two vehicles.
Azurin identified the first suspect as Romie Diamillah Hadji Alawi, who was arrested by PDEA agents and soldiers under the Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT-5) and Army’s 55th and 82nd Infantry Battalions in Barangay Matalin at around 11:40 a.m.
“He did not resist arrest when government forces arrested him beside the highway. We seized a kilo of shabu with an estimated street value of PHP6.8-million from Alawi,” Azurin told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an interview.
Authorities also confiscated from Alawi’s possession a mobile phone, a pickup truck, a .22 caliber pistol, and other pieces of evidence.
On the same day, PDEA agents backed by Cotabato City police personnel arrested Saidin Campong and Salipudin Usop in Barangay Poblacion here. They seized 500 grams of suspected shabu with a street value of PHP3.4 million.
PDEA agents also seized mobile phones, a multi-cab vehicle, and other pieces of evidence.
“We have long been following them and their illegal activities,” Azurin said of the duo.
“I would like to commend our troops and our partners in the military and police institutions who risk our lives to protect our people from the harm of illegal drugs,” Azurin said.
The suspects are now detained at the PDEA-BARMM detention facility here while charges for violation of RA 9165 or Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 are being prepared against them.