WITH incoming President Rodrigo Duterte’s stern warning that he will deal hard with drug traffickers, particularly local government officials and police officers, a barangay chairman and his three accomplices were arrested after selling about 30 kilograms of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) in Cagayan province.
Operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Cagayan said Marzan Victor Tumaneng, incumbent chairman of Barangay Centro 4 in Claveria, with his cohorts – Edgardo Almazan, Robert Cainguitan and Alfred Salvosa – were caught red-handed with some 30 transparent plastic bags of shabu they negotiated with a poseur-buyer for P150 million.
PDEA-Cagayan director Derrick Carreon said the transaction was done at a beach resort in Claveria town, adding that Tumaneng has been under surveillance for a long time.
The suspects are now detained at the Cagayan provincial jail.
Meanwhile, at the Calabarzon area (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), two members of a drug syndicate were killed in a shootout with police in Batangas on Wednesday, while five suspected drug pushers were arrested in separate operations in Rizal and Cavite.
Batangas Provincial Director Senior Supt. Archie Ronquillo identified the slain suspects as Erwin Bunquin and Dennis Atiena, both members of the Bagro Drug Group operating in Batangas City.
Ronquillo said the suspects, after sensing that they were dealing with operatives, opened fire on members of the police intelligence unit during a buy-bust operation.
Recovered from the two were four sachets of shabu weighing 20 grams, a .45-caliber pistol and a .38-caliber revolver.
Similarly, police from the PDEA 4A arrested five drug suspects, including a barangay councilor in Bacoor City, Cavite.
PDEA 4A Director Yogi Filemon Ruiz said suspect Edgardo Urgel was caught selling to a poseur-buyer about one kilogram and 22 grams of shabu. He was arrested after a hot pursuit operation that ended in Barangay Mabiga in Mabalacat City, Pampanga.
Ruiz said Urgel was very elusive during their transaction, that he postponed the meeting with the poseur-buyer at least three times, supposedly to transpire in Rizal and other towns around Calabarzon. He finally agreed to meet up in Mabalacat City, were he was arrested.
The other suspects were identified as alleged drug traffickers Herald Miranda, a barangay Councilor in Barangay Talaba 5, Bacoor City; Nelson Miranda; Victor Clarito and Edna Clarito.
It was not immediately known how the suspects of the same surname are related.
WITH ROSELLE AQUINO