GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Aug. 3 — Anti-drug agents arrested an active police officer and his cohort in a buy-bust operation at a popular seaside park here past noon Thursday.
Gil Cesario Castro, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (Pdea)-Region 12 director, identified the suspects as Police Officer (PO) 3 Joel Estabillo, who was assigned at the President Quirino municipal police station in Sultan Kudarat, and “girlfriend” Marites Baguio.
He said the two were arrested past 12 noon at a portion of the Queen Tuna Park in Barangay Dadiangas South here after allegedly selling a sachet of suspected metamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu to a Pdea agent who posed as a buyer.
Recovered from the suspects were a sachet of suspected shabu, P500 bill used in the buy-bust and a Philippine National Police-issued 9mm pistol, he said.
The official said the main target of the operation was Baguio, who was included in the agency’s watchlist of top drug pushers.
But during the transaction, he said PO3 Estabillo suddenly joined Baguio and was eventually arrested.
He said the two were reportedly linked romantically and partners in the illegal drug trade and other related activities.
“He (PO3 Estabillo) was temporarily under the regional police’s personnel holding and accounting unit based on the identification card that he presented,” he said.
Castro said they have long been monitoring the movements of Baguio, whose operations reportedly cover this city and parts of Sultan Kudarat province.
He said PO3 Estabillo was also included in their watchlist due to reports of his alleged involvement in illegal drug-related activities.
The police officer’s involvement in the drug transaction proved his involvement in the illegal drug trade.
“This is part of the continuing cleansing of misfits in the government as ordered by President (Rodrigo) Duterte,” Castro said.
Charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 are being prepared against the suspects, who are currently detained at the PDEA-12 lockup here.