P2-million shabu seized-A A +A
Friday, July 4, 2014
CEBU CITY -- Suspicions that policemen are coddling drug dealers grew after a notebook found in a raid in Cebu City on Thursday had the word “pulis” beside an amount believed to be proceeds of drugs.
The joint anti-narcotics operation resulted in the arrest of six people, including two women, and the confiscation of some P2 million worth of suspected shabu in Barangays Ermita and Pasil.
Senior Superintendent Conrado Capa, Police Regional Office (PRO) Central Visayas deputy regional director for operations, said they need to be aggressive in weeding out misfits from their ranks.
“From now on, there will be regular random drug testing of all police stations. They will not know when, what station and what province. We will do this when they least expect it because it’s the easiest and most logical way to prove the involvement of policemen in illegal drugs,” he said during a press briefing Thursday.
City Intelligence Branch (CIB) Chief Romeo Santander said an investigation will be made to find out if policemen are indeed involved.
Thursday's operation came less than 24 hours after police collared 17 people who are also allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade. Some P2.5 million worth of shabu were seized in the operation in Cebu City and Mandaue City last Wednesday.
The series of raids, Capa said, complies with the directive of PRO 7 Prudencio Tom Bañas, whose top priority is the campaign against illegal drugs.
He added that the problem on the illegal drug trade was also discussed during the Regional Peace and Order Committee (RPOC) last month.
Armed with five search warrants, operatives of the Regional Intelligence Division (RID), Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG), Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group (Raidsotg), Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB) and Cebu City Police Office swooped down on two barangays at 4:30 a.m. Thursday.
The warrants were issued by Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 19 Judge Wilfredo Navarro and RTC Executive Judge Soliver Peras.
In Barangay Ermita, the operatives arrested Robert Genovisa, 34, one of the subjects of the search warrants. He yielded four sachets of shabu and .38 revolver with four live bullets.
When the operatives raided the house of Rizza Cabugason, they caught Ronnie Ramas, 23, and Lanjel Derelon, 27, inside.
Seized inside the house were 53 small packs of shabu and P7,300 cash believed to be drug proceeds. Cabugason eluded arrest.
In Barangay Pasil, three women were listed as subjects of the search warrants. They were identified as Breezy Borbon, 38, Annabelle Zamora, 43, and Marjorie Tagalog.
The operatives caught Borbon and Zamora while Tagalog fled.
Tagalog’s 53-year-old father Edwin, however, was arrested for obstruction of justice.
Senior Insp. Henrix Bancoleta of Raidsotg told Sun.Star Cebu that these women are considered level two drug pushers who can sell at least 200 grams of shabu per week.
Borbon reportedly owns a mini mart as front for her illegal drug trade. One large pack and three medium packs of shabu were found inside her store.
As for Zamora’s house, the police official said that it looks dilapidated outside.
“(But inside) There’s an aircon, a 40-inch flat screen TV and a high-tech sound system,” Bancoleta said.
When the operatives tried to serve the warrant against Tagalog, she got away after her father reportedly blocked policemen from entering their house.
Some P46,000 cash, one large pack and three medium packs of shabu were found by the police inside her house.
It was in Tagalog’s house where police recovered a blue book that recorded her drug activities.
In one of the pages, the name “Alma Anicete” was written on top of the paper.
Written below is a certain date and the words “25 grms.” Beside the dates are the figures “2,000+3,000 pulis.”
Although the policeman’s name was not written on the notebook, operatives were alarmed. It also did not indicate the police’s involvement, if he is a drug pusher or user or a coddler of drug dealers.
It was also not clear if the “pulis” remitted P3,000 or the “pulis” received P3,000.
Another page also showed a list with the heading “6/8/14 Bag-o” and “Data 6/8/14= 40,000+3,000 pulis” written below.
When interviewed by Sun.Star Cebu, the suspects refused to issue statements. Edwin, for his part, said he didn’t know the business of his daughter because she is always away.
He will face complaints for obstruction of justice while the five drug suspects will face complaints for violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 for selling and possession of illegal drugs.
In a separate interview, San Nicolas Police Chief Chuck Barandog said he is willing to be investigated along with his subordinates so the police can shed light on the notebook.
He said he has not seen the notebook yet.
“The policemen’s involvement in drugs is common in all areas. I hope there are evidence that would show who the policeman is,” said Barandog, whose station covers Pasil area.
City Intelligence Branch (CIB) Chief Romeo Santander declined to comment on the matter but said that they will investigate the possibility that policemen are involved.
In an interview Thursday, Barandog said that Tagalog is reportedly a level three drug pusher. He said they were supposed to conduct an operation against Tagalog but the Raidsotg arrested her Thursday.
Meanwhile, CIB operatives lamented that officials of some barangays in Cebu City did not cooperate with them during the anti-drug operations they conducted recently.
Santander said the barangay tanods even refused to help locate the subjects of their warrants. “Nagtulod-tulod sila hangtod na wala gyuy nakatabang,” said Santander, without naming the barangay.
He said that during the arrest, barangay officials were not present. “I don’t know if they’re scared or what but during operations like that, barangay officials must be present,” said Santander. (Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 04, 2014.