Authorities arrested four suspected members of a big-time drug syndicate operating in the southern part of Metro Manila and seized P1.1 million worth of shabu during a buy-bust operation early Friday morning in Taguig City.
The latest operation, according to National Capital Region Police Office director Guillermo Eleazar, is part of the continuing crackdown on drug dealing in Metro Manila.
Arrested were Joseph Marcelo, 41, of Barangay Valenzuela, Makati City; Ronald Kerwin Bustos, 32, of San Andres Bukid, Manila; Anthony Cruz, 41, of Bagong Calzada Pateros, and Robert Saligan, 40, of Barangay Calzada, Tipas Taguig City.
The suspects are now detained and being interrogated at the NCRPO headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City.
Eleazar said the anti-drug operation was conducted by the NCRPO and Taguig City Police in close coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency following a month-long surveillance operation against the suspects.
The suspects were arrested along C-6 Road in Barangay Napindan around 12:30 a.m.
Police seized a total of 165 grams of shabu with a street value of P1.1 million, two handguns loaded with ammunitions, one hand grenade and two drug weighing scale.
Eleazar said the suspects are members of a criminal gang engaged in the illegal drug trade listed in the Southern Police District illegal drug watchlist.
He added the suspects have been previously arrested and charged before the criminal courts of cities of Makati and Taguig for the past two years for the same offense, but the cases against them were dismissed.
Eleazar commended the police operatives for the arrest of the suspects, considering that the firearms recovered can possibly be used for gun for hire and other criminal activities as the May 13 midterm elections draws near.
The suspects and the recovered pieces of evidence were brought to NCRPO Regional Drug Enforcement Unit office and will be subjected for technical examination before the PNP Crime Laboratory Office.
Cases for violation of Section 5, 11 and 26 of Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002), RA 10591 (Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition) and RA 9516 (Illegal posession of explosives) in relation to Omnibus Election Code and Comelec Gun Ban are being prepared for filling in the proper court against the suspects.