Some 17 suspected drug dealers were arrested by Baguio City police in their intensified anti-drug campaign during the first five months this year, but have yet to net big time drug traders, while authorities in the Caraga Region nabbed seven persons in possession of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) worth over P1.3 million in separate operations over the weekend.
Baguio City Police director, Supt. George Daskeo, reported that aside from the arrest of 17 persons, they also confiscated a total of 54.34 grams of shabu and marijuana leaves weighing 57.40 grams in the 13 operations conducted since May this year.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan, while lauding the accomplishment, urged the police to also double their effort in the campaign against all forms of criminality in the city, stressing on illegal drugs and going after known big time suspects.
At Santa Marcela town in Apayao, unidentified gunmen shot dead a farmer, in what is considered the first casualty in a supposed drive against drug personalities in the Cordillera region.
Marlo Guillermo Labbao, from the village of Malekkeg, was on his way home aboard his vehicle when two armed men ambushed him at the boundary of Santa Marcela and Sitio Ayaga in Barangay Lucban, Abulug in Cagayan province.
Labbao sustained several gunshot wounds and did not reach the hospital alive.
Crime scene investigators found 13 spent shells of a caliber .45 pistol, a transparent drug tooter, a mobile phone, a caliber .45 pistol with magazine loaded with ammunition, a heat-sealed sachet containing approximately 1.4 grams of shabu and P4,475 in cash.
Meanwhile, in Agusan del Norte, a total of P1.381 million worth of shabu was seized from seven drug suspects, including a minor, in separate anti-drug operations over the weekend in Butuan City.
Police have seized some P1.2 million worth of illegal drugs and arrested two suspects during an anti-illegal drug operation on Saturday afternoon in a suburban village in Butuan City, a police official said on Monday.
Caraga Police spokesman Supt. Michael Lozada said the first to fall in the anti-drug operation were siblings Lauro and Jeraian Mendez, who were found with about 104.5 grams of shabu estimated to worth P1,237,320 when operatives searched their house in Barangay Doongan, Butuan City.
Earlier, city police anti-drug authorities also arrested Roel Dumaplin, Ramil Pilar, Roy Antipasado, Eduard Busa and a 15-year-old boy while in the act of conducting a pot session when operatives swooped down on their lair on Friday afternoon in Barangay Ong Yiu.
A joint operation by the Butuan City Anti-Illegal Drug Special Operations Task Group and intelligence operatives of Police Regional Office (PRO) 13 seized from the suspects eight sachets of shabu with a total weight of 12 grams worth P144,000 and several drug paraphernalia.
Caraga Police director Chief Supt. Rolando Felix has ordered a relentless operation against illegal drugs and all forms of criminality in the region and ordered the immediate filing of charges against the arrested drug personalities.