CEBU, Philippines — A sister of the drug suspect arrested in a raid in Barangay Bulacao, Talisay City accused the members of the raiding team of stealing several valuable items from their house during the operation.
Suspect Baysay Custodio was arrested by agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) -7 and members of the Regional Drug Enforcement Unit (RDEU) and Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG) on Thursday evening.
Seized during the operation were 250 grams of suspected shabu with an estimated value of more than P1.2 million.
According to authorities, Custodio is a high-value target in regions 7 and 8 and an alleged underling of self-confessed drug lord, Kerwin Espinosa.
Her older sister said that they lost several valuable items including gadgets, a watch and their house key.
She also denies the allegation against her sister and insists that she is innocent.
“Nasasaktan talaga kami kasi inosinte iyung kapatid namin.Iyung mga gadgets ng mga pamangkin ko nawala, relo ko pati ang susi ng bahay,” she said. (We are hurt because my sister is innocent and we lost several gadgets, my watch and our house key.)
PDEA-7 Regional Director Emerson Margate is challenging Custodio’s family to file a formal complaint so they can look into the allegations.
However, he said that stealing of items during raids is unlikely because PDEA agents were properly briefed of the standard operating procedure.
“Pero very unlikely naman iyung mga ganoong allegations, pero kung ganoon nga ay magfile nalang sila ng formal complaint tulungan nalang kami para kung mapatunayan ay hindi naman na tini-tolerate iyun,” said Margate. (That’s very unlikely but they should file a complaint so we can look into it because we do not tolerate this act.)
He said that this is not the first time that they were accused of stealing and this is expected if their operation is done against high-value targets and big players.
Margate said Custodio is a big player in the illegal drug business in regions 7 and 8 and she is included on the list of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Pattern na iyan nila eh. Lage nalang may nawawala. Niwawala nila tayo sa focus natin which is to go after drug suspects,” Margate said. (Accusing us of stealing has become a pattern because they want us to be out of our focus which is going after drug suspects.)
PDEA -7 agents are now facing a complaint before the Visayas Ombudsman after an alleged drug suspect arrested in Mandaue City last July accused them of stealing P7.7 million worth of cash and jewelry during the operation.
Margate said their head office is conducting an investigation but they haven’t received any feedback yet.
Margate assured they will not be shaken by these allegations because they are doing their job right.
He revealed PDEA-7 is planning to procure body cameras for transparency in their operations.
Meanwhile, authorities arrested four drug personalities in two separate operations in Cebu City last Friday night and seized more than P140, 000 worth of drugs.
Operatives of Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Drug Enforcement Agency (DEU) Juvy Taboada, and Marlon Tejano in Sitio Mahayahay, Barangay Calamba, past 10 p.m. Friday.
Seized from Taboada were 15 small plastic sachets of suspected shabu while from Tejano were two medium-sized plastic packs and five small sachets of suspected shabu.
About an hour after, the same team arrested Albert Rafols, 30, and on General Gines Street, Barangay Suba.
Recovered from Rafols were seven small packs of shabu while from Dacua were eight packs of suspected shabu.
All in all, the seized drugs weighed 11.75 grams with an estimated street value of P138,650.
In another operation, two lechon vendors were nabbed in separate buy-bust operations conducted by agents of PDEA–7 in Talisay City, Cebu on Saturday dawn and seized were about P400,000 worth of suspected shabu.
The suspects were identified as Diosdada ‘Inday Yawa’ Aguilar, 60, a resident of Barangay Tangke and Dandin Bas, 26, a resident of Barangay Biasong.
PDEA – 7 Spokesperson Leia Albiar said seized from Aguilar were 11 packs of suspected shabu weighing50 grams with an estimated value of P250,000 while from Bas were medium packs of suspected shabu weighing 20 grams with an estimated value of P100, 000.
Albiar said that both suspects are on the PDEA- 7 watchlist.
In Danao City, eight alleged drug personalities were nabbed in three separate buy-bust operations in barangays Sabang and Looc on Friday.
Police identified the suspects as Lester Lawas, Elizar Capuyan, Cyrus Duterte, Reynaldo Murillo, Alfie Murillo, and Junrey Murillo.
Confiscated during the operations were 61 small packs of suspected shabu with an estimated value of P39,990.
Also seized was P1, 700 cash believed to be proceeds from the suspect’s illegal activities.
During the operation, two alleged drug users identified as Karol John Banzon and Jason Almoragie were also arrested.
In Carcar City, two street level drug personalities were arrested in a buy bust operation in SitioTangasan, Barangay Valladolid Friday afternoon.
Arrested were RollyBarrido, 30, and Bimpo Apura, 33, both residents of the said place.
Police Chief Superintendent Gregorio Galsim said the arrested suspects were under surveillance since last year.
Five packs of suspected shabu estimated to worth P1,770 were seized from their possession. — Ermida Q. Moradas, Mae Clydyl L. Avila and Iris Mariani B. Algabre (FREEMAN)