Sari-sari store owner, 4 others nabbed in Subangdaku buy-bust
CEBU CITY, Philippines — A sari-sari store owner who allegedly uses her business as a front for her illegal drugs activity was arrested together with four others during a buy-bust operation in Sitio Lower Nawanao, Barangay Subangdaku in Mandaue City at around 9:35 p.m. on Friday, October 15.
Operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-7) also confiscated 14 packs of suspected shabu weighing around 60 grams and worth P408, 000 from the drug den that was allegedly operated by Ivy Novela, 32.
Also arrested with Novela were her common-law husband Jan Mark Velasquez, 35, and drug users Jhay-ar Caisia, 32, Braindyl Gonzaga, 37, and Arnold Cabrera, 19, says Leia Alcantara, the PDEA-7 spokesperson.
Gonzaga is from Barangay Kasambagan in Cebu City while the two others are from barangay Subangdaku.
Alcantara said that Novela and Velasquez already surrendered in 2017 during the “Oplan Tokhang” nationwide campaign, but they did not complete the intervention program that was introduced by government. They also resumed their illegal drugs operation.
PDEA-7 operations are now pursuing information that the suspects, who are now detained at the PDEA-7 holding facility in Sudlon in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City, gave on their drug supplier, Alcantara said.
Complaints for the violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 will soon be filed against them, she added.
Alcantara said the arrest of the five suspects stemmed from a tip which a concerned citizen sent through PDEA’s “Isumbong Mo Kay Wilkins” program.
IMKW was launched in June 2020 by PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva to encourage the community to participate in the government’s anti-drug campaign by providing relevant information on the operation of drug suspects in their respective communities.
As soon as tips are verified, PDEA agents then operate against the drug suspects.
This year alone, PDEA-7 already conducted 11 operations based on tips received from the IMKW program. This forms part of the 119 joint operations that they have conducted as of October 15, 2021.
A total of 34 drug dens were also dismantled during the same period.
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