Drug den dismantled in SoCot town, 5 nabbed

EVIDENCE.The suspected shabu valued at more than PHP35,000 and other evidence seized from a drug den in Polomolok town, South Cotabato province that was dismantled by joint government operatives in an operation early on Saturday (Nov. 13, 2021). Five personalities, including the maintainer of the den, were arrested. (Photo courtesy of PDEA-12)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY –Joint operatives dismantled a drug den that reportedly operated for more than three months and arrested five suspected pushers and users in an operation in a village in Polomolok town, South Cotabato province early Saturday.

Katryn Gay Abad, spokesperson of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 12 (Soccsksargen), said the drug den was found during an entrapment in a house in Abrea Homes, Barangay Cannery in Polomolok at about 1:40 a.m.

She said the operation, which was led by PDEA-12 agents and backed by elements of the South Cotabato police, mainly targeted suspected pusher Mary Joy Ostaga, alias “Tabeb” and “Mary Joy”, who is listed as a high-value drug personality in the area.

During the buy-bust, the suspect sold a sachet of suspected shabu worth PHP1,000 to an undercover agent, Abad said.

An ensuing search at the suspect’s house resulted in the discovery of the drug den and the presence of four other persons, she added.

They were identified as Jocelyn AlbaƱo, 45, Ostaga’s live-in partner; Jojean Saul, 31; Ariel Felisida, 40; and Ronald Lascuna, 40.

“They were in the house to use drugs based on the recovered evidence,” she said in an interview.

Abad was referring to the 10 more sachets of shabu found at the scene, along with assorted drug paraphernalia.

The seized shabu during the operation weighed 5.2 grams with an estimated street value of PHP35,360.

She said intelligence teams had suspected that Ostaga was using the house as a drug den due to the perennial presence of various individuals.

The pattern was seen during the more than three months of surveillance on Ostaga’s movements and suspected illegal activities.

“She is involved in illegal drug trafficking in areas of Polomolok, GenSan (General Santos), and Alabel, Sarangani,” Abad said.

She said one of those arrested, Jojean Saul, turned out to be the supplier of shabu peddled by Ostaga and with the main source reportedly based in Sultan Kudarat province.

Abad said their investigators were determining the other possible cohorts of the suspects and their involvement in local drug networks.

The five suspects, who are detained at the PDEA-12 custodial facility here, will face multiple charges for violation of Article II of Republic Act 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. (PNA)

Source: Business Diary Philippines

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