FROM PAGEANT GIRL TO DRUG DEALER
It was a hard fall for this beautiful young lady who, only two months ago, was saying she felt so blessed to be a part of a journey into becoming a beauty title holder.
Teri Marina Colmenares, then 21, was an enthusiastic Binibining Cebu pageant newbie proudly representing the northern municipality of Carmen, which she described in a Cebu Daily News interview as a town “with a refreshing view of the blue seas and green mountains.”
She was all smiles as she went up on stage, gave her best and landed in the Top 25 candidates during the preliminaries of the pageant held on October 25. She failed to make the cut for the Top 12.
Still, she held her head up high.
At dawn on Saturday, however, Colmenares became an entirely different person in an entirely different environment.
From representing a place with a refreshing view of the mountain and sea, she found herself locked in a darkened detention cell, hiding her face from the flashes of the cameras.
She was lying down on a mat on the jail’s floor while covering her face with a towel.
From a beauty pageant girl, she now has a new label: an alleged drug peddler.
Colmenares, now 22, was arrested in a drug bust for allegedly selling to a police agent several packs of high-grade marijuana known as kush weed amounting to P90,000 in a transaction concluded along Escario Street in Barangay Kamputhaw, Cebu City.
The arrest culminated the series of operations where she was pinpointed as the source of the party drug that was used in a date-rape case.
Cebu Daily News tried to get her side of the story shortly after she was arrested and while she was inside the detention facility of the Cebu City Police Office. However, she begged off from issuing a statement.
Her mother and relatives also declined from giving a statement to the media.
Charges for violating Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, will be filed against Colmenares at the Cebu City
Prosecutor’s Office on Monday.
Selling of prohibited drugs is a non-bailable offense.
From rape to drug peddling
According to Senior Insp. Dexter Basirgo, the chief of the Guadalupe Police Precinct that conducted the operations, the events that led to the incarceration of Colmenares began on December 8 when the Guadalupe police received a complaint from a rape victim who claimed she was drugged and molested by a disk jockey of a resto-bar.
The police went in search of the rape suspect who, following his arrest, confessed to authorities where he get the party drugs.
Following a series of surveillance operation, the drug enforcement unit of the Guadalupe police decided to stage the drug bust at dawn Saturday, December 15, leading to the arrest of the party drug source, a Nicole Allan Casiño, 24, in Salinas Drive in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City.
Recovered from Casiño were six party drugs worth P10,800.
Casiño, who lived in Barangay Kamputhaw, Cebu City but a native of Cagayan De Oro City in Mindanao, however insisted he was not the ultimate source of the party drugs.
He, in turn, led the police to Colmenares, who was caught with high-grade marijuana disguised as fruit pops.
Colmenares was handcuffed following the buy-bust operation in Escario Street, Barangay Kamputhaw, also at dawn on Saturday.
Basirgo said that Colmenares used a fake identification card and it was only after her arrest that they discovered her real identity.
Leia Albiar, spokesperson of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-7), said the campaign against illegal drugs does not distinguish known personalities or even beauty queens from ordinary offenders.
“Whatever is your status in the community, law enforcers will arrest you if you engage in the illegal drugs trade,” she said in an interview on Saturday.
The arrest of Colmenares, she added, proved that the government is serious in its war on drugs.
“It should be a lesson learned to everyone that our anti-drug operation does not choose anyone. We don’t care if you are a beauty queen or a son of a politician,” she said.
Albiar said they will also focus their campaign on party drugs, which may be used and in demand during the holidays.
She said the agency has coordinated with the security personnel of the different bars in Cebu where the transactions for party drugs were usually done.
“We want them to report right away to us if they notice some illegal transactions in their establishments,” Albiar said.
Albiar also urged the public to report to authorities if they have information on personalities involved in the illegal drugs trade.
“You don’t have to be afraid because we will keep your identity confidential,” she said.
Another girl with drugs
As this developed, another young lady also fell into the hands of the police, this time through the drug enforcement unit of the Pardo Police Station, also of the Cebu City Police Office.
The Pardo police scored big on Saturday with the arrest of 21-year-old Rhea Cabalen, who was found in possession of about P10.2 million worth of shabu (crystal meth) following a drug bust in Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City.
Chief Insp. Regino Maramag, precinct commander of the Pardo Police, said Cabalen delivered packs of shabu to a poseur buyer just outside of her residence at around 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Cabalen did not resist arrest.
Maramag said the suspect’s father and younger brother were also arrested in separate anti-drugs operations in previous years and both are still in jail.
Sought for comment, Cabalen said she was just requested by someone, whom she refused to identify, to deliver the packs of shabu to a buyer.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.