PDEA seizes P0.5M shabu in Sibugay

ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY — At least P500,000 worth of shabu was seized by the agents of Philippine Drug Enforcements Administration (PDEA) in Ipil town here at around 6 p.m. Tuesday,  April 5, in what law enforcement agents said could “lead to a big fish so far in the campaign against illegal drugs in the province.”

PDEA provincial chief Agent Norman Sulla said the four suspects along with three children who are all from Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur were nabbed during the operations in a local restaurant here. They were identified as Tong Afdal Abdulkarim, 43, and his wife Fatima Adam Abdulkarim, 45; Usdag Afdal Lamalahi, 44; and Ismael Akang Ali, 41 while the children were whisked away under the care of the provincial office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The suspects were presented to the media an hour after the arrest.

“This is the result of the hard work of PDEA in the province which the provincial government under my leadership supports,” Gov. Rommel A. Jalosjos told media during the press conference.

He lamented that “children were involved by those who supposed to take care of them” referring to the three children of Abdulkarim couple.

“What hit me most is the involvement of the children,” the governor said in mixed Tagalog and English, adding that the children should have been spared by their parents.

He assured the couple that their children are “in good hands under my care to protect them from this traumatic experience.”

“This is a big victory for us in the campaign against illegal drugs after the successful buy-bust operations in Malangas town more than a month ago,” the governor declared.

A father and son tandem was collared by PDEA agents in a buy-bust operations in Malangas town, this province last Feb. 24. Recovered the suspects were 1.2 grams of shabu, marked money amounting to P6,000 and a weighing scale.

The arrest came after a day the governor entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with PDEA expressing his commitment to wage all-out war against illegal drugs in the province.

“I am warming all drug users, drug dealers, and anyone involves in illegal drugs to leave the province because that kind of trade will be busted here,” the governor said.

He vowed to personally monitor the prosecution of the suspects to ensure the full extent of the law will be enforced.

PDEA said appropriate cases against the suspects will be filed immediately pursuant to Art. II, Sec. 5 of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. Regardless of quality and quantity, the penalty for drug selling is life imprisonment.

“We hope that the suspects will cooperate with PDEA so that we can arrest the big fish behind their operations,” agent Sulla concluded.  Antonio M. Manaytay

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