Anti-drug operatives dismantled an alleged drug den and arrested five suspected pushers and users in a predawn operation here Wednesday.
Kath Abad, spokesperson of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Region 12, said the drug den was uncovered following a buy-bust in a boarding house in Purok Malipayon, Barangay Apopong.
Abad said elements from the PDEA-12 and the local police conducted an entrapment in the area around 12:30 a.m. against target-listed pusher Kim Bautista, 28; and cohort Aldrico Lubaton III, 21, the owner of the boarding house.
The two were arrested after selling a sachet of suspected shabu worth PHP500 to a PDEA-12 agent who posed as a buyer, she said.
Abad said the operating team immediately searched the boarding house and found three persons having a shabu session. They were identified as Jimruel Dumanjog, Princess Aquino alias Milky and Ian Paul EscobaAez alias Toto, all of Polomolok town in South Cotabato.
Recovered during the operation were five small and medium packs of suspected shabu weighing about grams and valued at PHP74,800, two plastic sachets with shabu residues and assorted drug paraphernalia, Abad said.
Abad said their intelligence operatives had been tracking down the movements of Bautista and Lubaton since December.
She said Bautista, a resident of Ilang- Ilang Street, Barangay Poblacion in Polomolok, was included on the drug watchlist of the local police.
He is considered a high-value drug target based on the volume the recovered shabu, she said in an interview.
The suspects will be charged with violation of Sections 11 (possession of dangerous drugs) and Section 12 (possession of drug paraphernalia), under Article II of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Bautista and Lubaton will face separate charges for violation of Section 5 (sale of dangerous drugs). Lubaton will also be charged with violation of Section 6 (maintenance of a den) and the three other suspects under Section 7 (visitors of a den).
Source: Philippines News Agency