Professionals, students frequent in drug den

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Friday, February 21, 2014

CEBU CITY -- Eight people were arrested in separate anti-drug operations this week, including the alleged operator of a drug den on Aznar St., Barangay Sambag in this city last Tuesday night.

At Thursday dawn, about P1 million worth of suspected shabu was confiscated by operatives in a separate buy-bust in Cebu, where three people were arrested.

In the buy-bust in Barangay Sambag last Tuesday, five persons were arrested, including Joseph Tenchavez, 40, and his sister Rachel, 38, who reportedly used one of the rooms in their house as a drug den.


Most of their patrons are said to be professionals and students, as their house is located near a university.

Among those who were allegedly caught inside the drug den were Aldo Rey Alilin, an architect; Alvin de Jesus, a former college instructor; and realtor Luis Ramon Torralba, son of broadcaster Choy Torralba.

The buy-bust was conducted by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Lawyer Mauro Lecin of the PDEA-Central Visayas said an informant tipped them of an ongoing pot session in the house of the Tenchavezes.

He said they received reports about illegal activities being conducted there.

“Drug selling in the area is rampant,” Lecin said.

A string of criminal cases will be filed today (February 21, 2014) before the Regional Trial Court against the five persons, including complaints for violations of the Republic Act (RA) 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drug Act of 2002.

Cebu City Assistant Prosecutor Rogelio del Prado charged Joseph Tenchaves on Thursday with illegal drugs sale and maintenance of a drug den.

A separate case for visiting a drug den will also be filed against Rachel Tenchaves, Alilin, de Jesus and Torralba.

Torralba denied the charges, saying he was in the restroom when the anti-narcotics agents raided the supposed drug den.

In their joint affidavit, the PDEA operatives said they received on Feb. 18 a tip from a “concerned citizen” about the supposed pot session in Tenchavez’s house.

A poseur buyer went to check the place in Barangay Sambag to “buy and sniff shabu.”

When Tenchaves received the marked money, the agent was told to sniff the powder inside a vacant room, where he allegedly saw Alilin, de Jesus and Torralba sniffing shabu. The undercover agent alerted his companions by making a phone call.

The agent said he also saw Torralba coming out of the room after sniffing shabu, before going to the restroom.

The broadcaster’s son was arrested inside the restroom by the agent’s companions.

Six small packs of shabu, which costs P300 per pack, and some drug paraphernalia were seized during the operation.

All five arrested persons were brought to the PDEA detention cell.

They were also subjected to a drug test, but Torralba refused. The four others tested

Lecin said Tenchavez could sell at least 2.5 grams of shabu per week.

Tenchavez may not be a big-time drug pusher “but the thing is, he owns a drug den, Lecina said.

On Thursday dawn, a man and two two women were arrested by the Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group (Raidsotg) of the Police Regional Office (PRO).

A level-two drug pusher, one of the subjects of the operations, eluded arrest.

The first buy-bust was conducted in Barangay San Isidro, Talisay City, where Roger Resuena, 57, was arrested.

Seized from his possession were a big pack, two medium packs and seven small sachets of suspected shabu worth P30,000.

A .22 revolver with five live bullets was also found in Resuena’s home.

Senior Inspector Henrix Bancoleta of Raidsotg said Resuena is a level-three drug pusher and operates in his house.

Whoever sniffs drugs inside Resuena’s house has to pay P5, Bancoleta said.

Before customers can sniff the drugs, they also have to buy the shabu outside Resuena’s house.

The wife of Resuena told Sun.Star Cebu that she fears for the life of her husband, who suffered from a mild stroke, once he is detained.

Resuena said he only started selling shabu recently to provide for his family’s needs.

He is detained at the Waterfront Police Station.

At 3:30 a.m., the operatives went to Barangay Pit-os in Cebu City to conduct another buy-bust against Carlos Dy, an alleged level-two drug pusher.

However, Dy who is in the watch list of suspected drug personalities, eluded arrest.

When the police poseur buyer declared an arrest after Dy took the P15,000 marked money in exchange for a big pack of shabu, he ran off.

Bancoleta said the suspect jumped over a wall and fled toward a clearing at the back of the houses, which Dy rented.

Inside the house, cousins Mary Rose Seno, 20, and Jessa Mae Seno, 24, of Mandaue City were caught by the police.

“Padulong ni sila buak sa shabu. Tibugol paman kaayo ‘to (They were about to repack the shabu),” Bancoleta said.

Recovered inside the house were two large packs, 20 medium packs and 28 small packs of suspected shabu with a total weight of at least 300 grams, which has a street value of P1 million, according to Bancoleta.

The drugs will be submitted to the PNP Regional Crime Laboratory Office for a chemical analysis.

A .45 pistol with seven live bullets reportedly owned by Dy was also seized by the police inside the house.

Bancoleta said they had been monitoring Dy since last year and conducted the operation Thursday after Dy was seen.

He said Dy moves from one house to another to avoid arrest.

Dy allegedly supplies drugs to drug users in Barangays Pit-os, Pulangbato and Pardo in Cebu City and also in Mandaue City.

The two women, for their part, allegedly serve as the suspect’s helpers and get a free sniff in return.

The two women who are now detained at the Waterfront Police Station denied the allegations when interviewed by Sun.Star Cebu.

Mary Rose said she and her cousin were sleeping in a room when the operatives knocked on the door.

They pointed a gun at them and asked where Carlos Dy was, but they told the operatives they didn’t know Dy, Mary Rose said.

Mary Rose said they went there upon the invitation of a friend. They denied any involvement in the illegal drug trade, otherwise they would have been rich by now.

The Raidsotg will file complaints today against those arrested for violating RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 21, 2014.

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