TACLOBAN CITY: Agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 8 apprehended a jail guard identified as an alleged big-time drug courier in a buy bust inside a lodging house in Pawing, Palo, Leyte, early Thursday morning.
PDEA 8 Director Laurefel P. Gabales identified the suspects as Renato Saratan, a prison guard at the Leyte Provincial Jail in Baybay Leyte, his girlfriend Evelyn Saurez, and Cesar Quijano, all residents of the municipality of Hilongos, Leyte.
Recovered from the suspects were two big plastic packs containing a white crystalline substance suspected to be ‘shabu,’ weighing more than 600 grams, and the cash money used in the buy bust.
A PDEA agent told The Manila Times that a transaction with the suspects started Wednesday evening upon their arrival in Palo, Leyte on board a hired van.
A negotiation between a PDEA agent and the jail guard started immediately and they agreed to do the payment inside a lodging house in Palo, Leyte the following day.
Unaware that the buyers were PDEA agents, the suspects welcomed them inside the room of the lodging house but after consummating the transaction, they were all stunned when the buyers identified themselves as lawmen.
The suspects did not resist arrest.
The PDEA said they have been following the activities of the group of the jail guard after learning that his lifestyle has been questioned by fellow workers. It was learned that the group not only delivers their goods in Tacloban City but to most of the big places in Leyte and Samar. An informant told PDEA that the suspects are considered as one of the biggest suppliers of shabu in many parts of Leyte.
The PDEA said they are now conducting an interrogation of the driver and conductor of the van for hire for their participation. But driver Ranilo Ruiz disclosed that they were just hired by Saratan for a one-day trip in the amount of P5700. Ruiz said it was the first time that his van was hired by the suspects.
Charges of violation of RA 9165, the Comprehensive Law Against Illegal Drugs are being readied against the suspects who are now temporarily languishing at the PDEA8 detention cell.