High-value target arrest gives PDEA-7 efforts major boost
Suspect claims she was police asset, denies Kerwin Espinosa, drug links
Last Thursday’s arrest of a 29-year-old woman, whom the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-7) tagged as among the high-value targets included in the nationwide list of the anti-drug agency, is a major achievement in the war against drugs of the agency’s offices in Central Visayas and Eastern Visayas (PDEA-7 and PDEA-8).
Director Edgar Jubay, chief of PDEA-8, said that the arrest of Tacloban City native, Baysay Custodio, in Talisay City, Cebu would impact especially on the morale of the PDEA-7 and PDEA-8 agents, who are leading the government’s war against drugs.
Custodio was arrested in Barangay Bulacao, Talisay City by PDEA agents after she was allegedly caught with 250 grams of suspected shabu with an estimated street value of P1.2 million.
PDEA-7 linked Custodio to detained drug lord Kerwin Espinosa.
Jubay said that he could not confirm Custodio’s alleged relationship with Espinosa but he could confirm that Custodio had disposed illegal drugs in Eastern Visayas area especially since she was allegedly a trusted aide of Espinosa.
However, Custodio in an interview with Cebu Daily News, denied the allegations against her.
Custodio claimed that the PDEA agents allegedly planted the drugs they found in her possession during the raid.
She also denied having any links to Espinosa. She said that she only knew Espinosa by his name and had not even met him.
She also said that she was surprised about the inclusion of her name in the nationwide list of high-value targets of the PDEA national office.
But she also gave an explanation on why she ended up in the list.
Custodio said that this is what she got for helping the government.
Custodio claimed that she was a police asset in 2014 and used in special anti-illegal drug operations in Central Visyas during that year.
She also claimed that in 2015 when she moved to Metro Manila, she was also used as an asset in the anti-illegal drugs special operations group in Camp Crame and in 2016 in their anti-drug operations before the national elections in Central Visayas.
She said that she had been trying to clear her name though after Espinosa, during a Senate hearing, mentioned her name.
She said that is perhaps how her name ended in the master list of high-value targets.
But Director Jubay said that Custodio disposed illegal drugs in the region and that when President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office, PDEA 8 had been looking for her to arrest her for her involvement in illegal drugs.
Jubay also said that he was confident that PDEA-7 could provide tight security on Custodio and on where Custodio would be detained, the national office would have the last say on where to detain her.
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