Amidst quarantine, cops seize P1M worth of shabu in Olongapo City

PAMPANGA, Philippines – Police intelligence and anti-illegal drugs operatives confiscated P1 million worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu from 6 suspected drug traders in 3 villages of Olongapo City in Zambales on March 26 and 27.

In a Police Regional Office 3 (Central Luzon) press release sent to local media Monday, March 30, Olongapo City police director Colonel Benjamin Sembrano identified the arrested suspects in buy-bust operations at Barangay Pag-asa and Barangay Gordon Heights as Magnolia Chan, 22; Bhob Christian Andrade, 22; Benjamin Hernandez, 25; Muslimen Berca, 42.

He said the 4 are included in the Philippine National Police-Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency watch list.

Confiscated from the suspects were 41 pieces of heat-sealed plastic sachets of possible shabu weighing 150 grams with street value of P500,000; a sachet of dried marijuana leaves; 130 tablets of possible party drugs; and a 9mm Glock 19 pistol with a magazine loaded with 15 live bullets

At Baloy Beach, Barangay Barreto, policemen arrested Omar Khan Benito, 30; and Ceferino Estrada, 52, who yielded 10 sachets of possible shabu weighing 150 grams with street value of P500,000.

In Barangay Ninoy Aquino, Angeles City, barangay tanod enforcing curfew on March 26 chanced upon 3 individuals who were in the act of transacting a sale of illegal drugs.

The suspects were later identified as Francis Vargas, 39, a former inmate at the Angeles City District Jail; Analinda Gonzales, 43; and Roderick Pija, 46.

In a report by the Angeles City police, it was learned that the roaming barangay watchment saw Pija loitering on the street around 11 pm and told him to go home.

After a while, the watchmen saw him again, this time talking with a man and a woman.

As the barangay officers got closer, they noticed Pija throwing something on the pavement, which turned out to be a sachet of shabu.

The tanods also confiscated from Vargas and Gonzales a black coin purse containing 3 sachets of possible shabu.

All arrested suspects in Olongapo City and Angeles City are facing charges for violation of Republic Act 9165, the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. 

Aside from drugs possession and selling, Pija, Vargas and Gonzales face charges for violation RA 11332 for violating the government guidelines on Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

Violating quarantine rules

Meanwhile, PRO3 police director Brigadier General Rhodel Sermonia announced on Tuesday, March 31, that the regional police was able to arrest around 12,000 persons for violating ECQ rules and guidelines.

Of these, 3,300 were arrested for breaking the 8 pm to 5 am curfew hours while the others were apprehended for violating liquor ban, smoking in public places, and disobedience at checkpoints and control points.

“We continue to appeal to our public to stay indoors and obey the guidelines of the Enhanced Community Quarantine to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Sermonia said. – Rappler.com