Shabu courier arrested inside Lapu-Lapu City Jail
ABOUT a week after Danao City police intelligence reports pointed to the Lapu-Lapu City Jail as a major source of the city’s illegal drug supply, a search on one of the jail’s visitors on Wednesday yielded a stash of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) that was intended for a prisoner.
The suspected drug mule was a young high school student from Cebu City disguised as an ordinary jail visitor who wanted to see an inmate named Fernando Pagobo, 37.
Twenty-year-old Remerl Pojas of Barangay Duljo Fatima, Cebu City, a grade 8 student of Gothong National High School, was caught trying to slip in a pack of shabu by walking into the jail facility with the illegal drugs inserted into his anus.
The student was arrested by jail guards at around 3:30 p.m. after the guards became suspicious when he excused himself to use the comfort room (CR) just as he was already talking with Pagobo, a drug suspect detained at the facility for two years now for selling shabu.
According to the jail warden Supt. Gil Inopia, jail officer Mark Nicholas Sato followed him to the CR and conducted another inspection on Pojas.
Sato found a pack of shabu estimated to be worth P280,000 inserted in Pojas’ anus.
Pagobo denied ordering shabu from his young friend, saying that this could have been just a gift for him. He also denied selling drugs from inside the jail.
Pagobo will be facing charges for conniving with Pojas after his jailers found P2,500 cash in his possession believed to be proceeds of the illegal drugs trade.
Pending the filing of an illegal drugs case against him, Pojas is currently detained at the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office holding cell.
A victim of a fire in Duljo Fatima early this year, Pojas said, he turned to selling shabu to be able to make ends meet so he could finish schooling.
Danao City raid
Three alleged drug suspects were killed in a buy-bust operation last March 14 in Danao City, northern Cebu, after they allegedly fought back using high-powered firearms.
Danao City police chief Senior Insp. Alejandro Batobalonos said that the police operation in Sitio Libon, Barangay Guinsay, was conducted following several months of surveillance on Julius Gacita, said to be one of the biggest drug suppliers in northern Cebu who sourced his drug supply from the Lapu-Lapu City Jail.
Last week, acting Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Marcial Ycong ordered a check on Danao City police intelligence reports that illegal drugs were flowing out of the Lapu-Lapu City Jail and sold by drug dealers in the northern city.
Batobalonos had informed the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), which manages the jail, of the intelligence reports linking one of their detainees to the illegal drug supplies that found their way into Danao.
However, intelligence reports identified the alleged supplier as Jesus Tabla, another detainee of the Lapu-Lapu City Jail, not Pagobo.
The acting mayor was confident that an earlier report by jail authorities still holds true that aside from jail visitors trying to sneak in illegal drugs into the facility, there are no illegal drug suppliers from inside the jail.
“Mangutana lang una ko sa (Lapu-Lapu City) council unsay among buhaton ani (I will first ask the city council what we should do about this),” Ycong told CDN.
There are 1,847 male inmates at the city jail and 170 women prisoners. About 75 percent of the cases involve illegal drugs, according to Inopia.
Lapu-Lapu and Danao drug busts
Meanwhile, seven suspected drug peddlers with almost a hundred thousand pesos’ worth of shabu were arrested in three separate drug operations conducted in Lapu-Lapu City, Wednesday dawn.
Elements of the Pusok Police Station arrested Rubin Aying, 49; Lionel Ycong, 30; Voltaire Inot, 27; Keno Arong, 28; Rose Marie Sali, 18; Alfredo Paquibot, 32; and Erwin Aposaga, 31.
In Danao City, three former drug surrenderers were arrested in buy-bust operations conducted in Barangays Sabang, Cogon Cruz and Looc.
Around P70,000 worth of illegal drugs were seized from suspects John Paul Mamitis, 28; Manny Galindo, 23; and Cenin Evasco, 27.
Batobalonos led his men in conducting the buy-bust operations following complaints from Mamitis’ neighbors that several motorcycles-for-hire, locally known as habal-habal, frequented their place even in the wee hours of the morning.
Aside from Barangay Looc where Mamitis’ lives, the suspect reportedly supplied illegal drugs in other places around the city.with Rene F. Alima
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