KIDAPAWAN CITY: The anti-narcotics office in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on Monday said it broke the backbone of drug syndicates in Lanao del Sur with the arrest of a ranking member of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)-Misuari faction who was allegedly a major illegal drug supplier in the province.
Felimon Ruiz, regional director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-ARMM), said Mamintah Ali was included in the PDEA “order of battle” and among the top three priority targets among persons engaged in illegal drug trade.
Ali and his cousin, Alinor Ali, were arrested on Sunday by PDEA agents and military during a raid in Barangay Liangan, Picong, Lanao del Sur.
Prior to the raid, a PDEA agent who posed as a buyer managed to secure huge amount of methamphetamine hydrochloride from Ali during which the dealer offered to provide more supplies should the buyer needs more.
Ruiz said Ali was a “big fish” they have been searching for so long. A two-week surveillance was conducted by PDEA in partnership with village officials who confirmed Ali was a ranking MNLF leader under Misuari.
The raiding team seized more than P300,000 worth of shabu and assorted firearms from the suspects that included five Armalite rifles, cal. 60 machine gun, AK-47 and ammunition, including drug paraphernalia.
“This is major accomplishment and we believed the drug syndicate in Lanao Sur and nearby provinces has been neutralized,” Ruiza said.