AMID the Sinulog festivities, regional police have intensified its crackdown against party drugs in Metro Cebu, leading to the arrest of eight persons and the confiscation of an estimated P262,000 worth of party drugs in Cebu and Mandaue cities in a span of 12 hours on Friday and Saturday.
First to fall was Claude Bernard Peña, a 21-year-old store attendant, who was arrested during a buy-bust operation in a business strip mall in midtown Cebu City at 9 p.m. on Friday.
Aside from Peña of Barangay Zapatera, Cebu City, five other persons were also arrested during the operation led by Supt. Josefino Ligan, Regional Intelligence Division in Central Visayas (RID-7) deputy chief, said Chief Supt. Robert Quenery, the new Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) director, during the presentation of the suspects at the PRO-7 office on Saturday.
Quenery said that they received reports about Peña’s illegal activities and conducted the operation after these were verified.
Peña was arrested after he allegedly sold the party drugs, Barcelona Ecstasy, to an undercover police officer.
He was caught with 16 tablets of Barcelona Ecstasy that police had estimated to be worth P40,000.
Aside from Peña, those arrested during the operation were college students, Diane Rose Revellas, 20, of Barangay Binlod, Argao town in southern Cebu, and Justin Carl Santillan, 21, of Barangay Basak, Cebu City; and call center agent, Kevin Acenas Caballero, 25, of Barangay Gun-ob, Lapu-Lapu City.
Ann Marielle Villahermosa, 26, of Barangay Calajoan, Minglanilla town in southern Cebu; and Jaybee Ocat, 20, of Barangay Poblacion 2, Malabuyoc in southwestern Cebu were also arrested in the raid.
A few hours later, Ligan’s team conducted a followup operation leading to the arrest of Pamela Racines, 22, in Barangay Tipolo in Mandaue City at 3:45 a.m. on Saturday.
The Tipolo operation was conducted near the area where a party event was being held.
Quenery said Peña pointed to Racines, who lives in Barangay Bulacao, Cebu City, as the alleged supplier of his party drugs.
Four tablets of Barcelona Ecstasy were allegedly found in Racines’ possession with an estimated worth of P10,000.
Quenery said that during interrogation, Racines also allegedly named his supplier which led to the third operation in a rented condominium unit in an establishment in General Maxilom Ave. in Cebu City, at 7 a.m.
Ali Didaton, 33, of Iligan City, whom Racines allegedly tagged as her supplier was arrested during the raid.
Quenery said that 61 tablets of Barcelona Ecstasy with an estimated worth of P152,500 were confiscated from Didaton.
Those arrested were detained at the Fuente Police Precinct pending the filing of charges.