GENERAL SANTOS CITY, July 31 (PNA)— Joint operatives recovered some P2 million worth of suspected metamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu and arrested nine alleged members of a local drug group in separate raids on Sunday at an outskirt village in Koronadal City.
Glorio Sandig, action officer of the Koronadal City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (Cadac), said Monday the illegal drugs were found in four houses in Purok Malipayon, Barangay Topland that reportedly double as drug dens.
He said the operation was led by elements of the Police Regional Office-12’s Regional Drug Enforcement Unit, Regional Public Safety Battalion, Special Action Force, Koronadal City police station and the Cadac.
Armed with search warrants issued by Kabacan, North Cotabato Regional Trial Court Branch 16 Judge Alexander Betoya, the operatives swooped down on the targeted houses before 4 a.m.
Sandig specifically cited three houses owned by the Carreon family and another by the Cordero family.
Citing their initial inventory, he said the recovered shabu in the four houses reached around 200 grams.
Sandig said they also seized a caliber .45 handgun, a homemade firearm, a hand grenade, assorted bullets and various drug paraphernalia.
“This is a major recovery and based on our initial assessment, the combined value of the seized shabu is not less than P2 million,” he said in a radio interview.
Arrested during the raid were suspects Pedro Carreon, 73; Joseph Glen Carreon, 37; Gabriel Carreon, 45; Bernadette Carreon; Jeselyn Palay, 44; Cris Ervic Egasan, 26; Henry Palmes, 44; Mark Lester Dinglasan, 29; and John Eric Cordero, 37.
The official said Cordero, who is former member of the Army’s 33rd Infantry Battalion, initially resisted but was restrained by the operatives.
One of the targets, identified as Lester Carreon, reportedly escaped after noticing the approaching operatives, he said.
Sandig said some of the suspects had just engaged in a shabu session in one of the targeted houses when they were arrested.
“We found illegal drugs and paraphernalia scattered on the tables and the chairs,” he said.
He said the Carreons were known drug pushers in the area and some of them had surrendered to authorities last year under “Oplan Tokhang.”
But he said that based on their monitoring, the surrenderers continued with their illegal activities and even expanded their operations.
“This is a big group and it operates in almost the entire South Cotabato and the neighboring areas,”Sandig said.
The group reportedly source their supplies from drug groups operating in Cotabato City and Maguindanao province.
Sandig said the suspects, who are currently detained at the Koronadal City police station lockup, would be facing multiple charges for violation of Republic Act (RA) 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and RA 10591 for illegal possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives. (PNA)