Three men nabbed in Negros drug ops

CEBU, Philippines — Three persons, including two suspected hitmen, were arrested in two separate buy-bust operations conducted in Negros Oriental in just 24 hours.

Authorities were able to recover at least P6.5 million worth of suspected shabu in the said operations.

The first buy-bust operation was conducted in Barangay Cangmating, Sibulan town in Negros Oriental last Saturday night.

In the operation, the original subject was a certain Ryan Fontejon, 29, who is considered a high-value target.

However, when the authorities arrived at the area, they were also able to spot Gil Catacutan, 37, who was considered to be street-level target, along with Fontejon.

The Provincial Intelligence Branch of the Negros Oriental Police Office (NOPPO) along with the Dumaguete Police Station personnel headed by Police Colonel Wilfredo Alarcon confiscated 75 grams of suspected shabu with estimated value of at least P510,000 and several firearms from the two arrested suspects.

Alarcon said that they are yet to determine if the suspects were indeed hitmen, however, they are not discounting that possibility.

Alarcon, however, suspects that the firearms seized were meant for their protection in their illegal drug trade.

Alarcon added that Fontejon was part of their intensified monitoring on anti-illegal drug campaign that started around August.

“Every time naay madakpan namo or ma-monitor dirang dapita, mogawas man gud iyang pangalan, plus naa pa gyud siyay armas, Mao tong gi-priority gyud namo sya,” Alarcon told The FREEMAN in an interview.

Around 5:45 a.m. the following day, another buy-bust operation was conducted in Camanjac, Dumaguete City where a high-value target identified as Norman Castillo, 29, was nabbed.

Recovered from him was at least P6.3 million worth of illegal drugs.

Authorities said that Castillo’s area of disposal was believed to be just around Metro Cebu considering the volume of illegal drugs confiscated from him.

Alarcon clarified that the three arrested suspects are not connected to each other, however, they were all placed under surveillance since August.

Meanwhile, at about 11:20 a.m. last Friday, personnel of RMFB-7 headed by Police Lieutenant Colonel Hector U Grijaldo Jr., together with the 703rd Mobile Company led by Police Major Leo T Logroño, 701st Mobile Company led by Police Major Manuel A Cabanlit and a team from Bravo Company 47IB, 3ID, PA led by First Lieutenant LT Micheal B Imperial (FS) PA, in coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-7, seized about 20,000 fully grown marijuana plants and about 10,000 seedlings at Sitio Hikapon, Barangay Gen. Climaco, Toledo City, Cebu.

The marijuana plants are estimated to cost P8 million, while the seedlings had a street value of P2 million.

Considering the rough terrain in transporting all the uprooted marijuana plants, the raiding team, after getting PDEA-7’s clearance and with the presence of Hikapon barangay officials, burned down the stalks of fully grown marijuana plants at the area and just took about five stalks for laboratory examination at the Regional Crime Laboratory Office 7. (FREEMAN)



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