NABBED. Two illegal drug suspects who were arrested in a drug-bust operation were presented to the media in a press conference at the PRO4 headquarters, in Camp Gen. Vicente Lim, Calamba City on June 20, 2019. Cases have been filed against the suspects for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act. (Photo by Saul E. Pa-a)
CAMP GEN. VICENTE LIM, Calamba City -- The police regional head of Calabarzon on Thursday said the campaign against illegal drugs spares no one, following the arrest of two village officials in Bacoor City who were tagged high-value targets (HVTs) in the illegal drugs trade.
In a press conference, Police Regional Office-Calabarzon Director, Brig. Gen. Edward Carranza, said the "relentless" campaign against illegal drugs resulted in the arrest of a village councilor and a chief village tanod (security force) right at the village hall.
“We will continue to wage war against illegal drugs. No matter what your status in the society, until the last pushers in all corners of CALABARZON region, be placed behind bars while giving chances to those users whom we considered as victims,” Carranza said.
The two arrested drug suspects were identified as Aniban village councilor Dante Junio Morales alias “Bok,” 50, who is tagged by Bacoor police as newly street-level target listed pusher, and Miguel Dela Cruz Piedad alias "Don Migs", 53, a village security force executive officer, or chief of village watchmen.
The two were arrested in a buy-bust operation at Barangay Aniban 5 Hall, around 10 p.m. on June 15. Operatives seized drug paraphernalia, two PHP100 marked bills and the suspected shabu weighing around 0.89 grams valued at PHP6,052.
“Huwag kayong mag-apologize sa police, sa taumbayan kayo mananagot. Hindi na kayo nahiya, mga barangay officials pa man din kayo(don’t apologize to the police, you are accountable to the people. You should be ashamed because you are village officials),” Carranza told the drug suspects who apologized during the press conference.
Carranza said a surveillance video captured the village councilor sniffing shabu inside his office at the barangay hall where the drug transactions were held at least four times a day.
Bacoor City chief of police Col. Vicente Cabatingan told the media the surveillance operations stemmed from tips from residents about the duo's illegal activities at the barangay hall.
“Actual ang surveillance footage (we have the actual surveillance footage) which showed Morales rolling up the tin foil like a tooter with the shabu on it and sniffed it, as it is their modus not to sell the item without first checking on it inside the barangay hall which is turned into his comfort zone,” Cabatingan said.
The surveillance video also showed scattered crumpled tinfoils at the barangay hall window.
“Malakas si kagawad (Morales). Ipinapakita niya na malakas siya sa (he’s a toughie. He is showing his firmness to the) community on his fight against drugs as a front, but it turned out he was a drug user and pusher,” Cabatingan said.
Carranza said the two suspects have tainted the image of local government officials, who, he said should be at the forefront of the anti-illegal drug war through the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council, a multi-sector body tasked to address the drug menace.
“We are coordinating with the Department of the Interior and Local Government-Cavite on local officials who are involved in illegal drugs as to their administrative and criminal liability,” he said.
Cases have been filed against the suspects for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.
Carranza lauded the members of the Bacoor City police for their feat and thanked various communities for their vigilance in reporting crimes through the police Community Mobilization Project.
He said police are now pursuing follow-up investigation on the barangay chieftain who claimed he was unaware of the tandem’s nefarious activities at the village hall. (PNA)