FOR the second time around, a 25-year-old alleged drug lord who is considered armed and dangerous evaded arrest at the height of a government operation conducted against him.
Joshua Bucog, 25, escaped from a buy-bust operation conducted by elements of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-7) on Sunday evening.
Instead, the agents of the anti-narcotics group ended up arresting two of Bucog’s alleged cohorts who they consider to be high-value targets as well.
The operation, conducted in a pension house along Katipunan St., Barangay Labangon, Cebu City yielded a kilo of white crystalline substance believed to be shabu (methamphetamine) with a Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) value of P6.3 million.
PDEA-7 Director Yogi Filemon Ruiz said that the group of Bucog can be considered armed and dangerous considering that high-powered firearms and explosives were also seized from the gang.
“Puro sila armado. Nakita nato naay explosives gikan sa 40 mm rifle grenade. Bisan usa lang ka bala ani ipabuto bungkag atoang opisina,” Ruiz said.
(They were all armed. We can see that they have explosives. Even if they fire just one of these, our office would go up in smoke.)
PDEA-7 confiscated a .45 caliber pistol, two submachine guns and eight live bullets of a 40 mm rifle grenade during Sunday’s operation.
Bucog’s two alleged cohorts were identified as Roy Cañon and Erwin Abellana, both of whom are said to be distributors of Bucog’s illegal drug supply.
Ruiz said Bucog was the subject of their buy-bust operation, but the drug lord did not show up and instead sent two of his men to transact with PDEA’s poseur buyers.
This was the second time for Bucog to elude arrest as he also fled from a government operation conducted last November.
In that operation, jointly conducted by PDEA-7 and the Police Regional Office (PRO-7) in Barangay Sambag II, five of Bucog’s alleged cohorts were arrested.
Authorities also recovered an estimated 1 kilogram of illegal drugs, with an estimated DDB value of P3.2 million.
Also seized were two firearms, magazines, ammunition and drug paraphernalia.
Bucog is currently facing charges for frustrated murder and for violating Republic Act 8294 or possession of unlicensed firearms.
He is out on bail.