SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao: A municipal councilor in Maguindanao was arrested last Friday afternoon in an anti-drug operation in Datu Anggal, Midtimbang town. Bryan Babang of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PDEA-ARMM) said government forces were to serve search warrants against suspected drug pushers Zainudin Musa, Bukatol Maliga alias Castro and Katidia Paglas, all residents of Sitio Kitib, Barangay Mapayag, Datu Anggal Midtimbang town but the suspects were nowhere to be found. According to Babang, PDEA agents, backed by the 19th Infantry Battalion and Datu Anggal police, who were armed with the search warrants issued by Judge Bansawan Ibrahim of Regional Trial Coiurt 15 arrested instead Councilor Daud Rakim Guiama, 56, who happened to be in suspects’ safehouse. Babang said the three target suspects learned of the presence of sizable government forces and immediately fled. He added that PDEA agents found a jewelry box that contained about 10 grams of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) with estimated value of P10,000 and shabu paraphernalia. When confronted, Guiama denied he was into illegal drugs and even showed identification cards he is member of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), a Moro front that signed a peace agreement with government in 1996. In Musa’s house, PDEA agents were able to seize two sachets of shabu. Government forces were pursuing other subjects of the warrants. Musa has long been wanted for various crimes that include kidnapping and illegal possession of firearms. Guiama is now detained at PDEA-ARMM detention cell in Cotabato City while charges for violation of Dangerous Drugs Act are being prepared against him.
JULMUNIR i. JANNARAL