3 nabbed in separate buy-bust operations with P2.1M worth of ‘shabu’

By: Pegeen Maisie M. Sararaña - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | February 05,2022 - 01:43 PM

Two men were arrested in a buy-bust operation Friday night, February 4, 2022, in Barangay Kalunasan, Cebu City. |Photo courtesy of PDEG-7

CEBU CITY, Philippines — He never learned his lesson.

Less than two months since his release for a drug-related case, Epifanio Rabuya, is going back to jail.

Rabuya was among the three men who were rounded up in separate buy-bust operations in the cities of Cebu and Talisay Friday night, January 4.

Police said Rabuya, 36, and Segundo Funcion, 57, were arrested in a buy-bust operation in Barangay Kalunasan, Cebu City at about 7 p.m.

An hour later, another suspect, Roger Sarlatan, 54, was also arrested in a buy-bust operation in Barangay Lagtang, Talisay City.

Operatives of the Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group in Central Visayas (PDEG-7) confiscated a total of 310 grams of suspected shabu worth P2.1 million from the three men.

“Kanang ingun ana nga amount sa drugs, daghan na kaayog madaot ana,” says Police Staff Sergeant Renaldo Contado, the case investigator.

Police Major Alejandro Batobalonos, PDEG-7 in-charge, said appropriate charges will be filed against the suspects soon.


Batobalonos said Rabuya, a resident of Barangay Capitol Site, would get his supply from a contact at the male dormitory of the Cebu City Jail.  He said the suspect was also detained at the jail facility for a year for a drug-related case and was released from detention in December 2021 after he plea-bargained.

However, Rabuya continued his illegal activities as soon as he stepped out of jail.  He functions as a “runner” for a jail detainee and would get P5, 000 to P10, 000 per delivery.  He would deliver drugs to buyers in the cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, and other parts of Cebu province.

“Paggawas niya nahimo syang runner sa drug lord nga naa sa sulod sa Kalunasan. Gikan sa iyang pagsugod, naka deliver sya og usa ka kilo [pinakadako],” Batobalonos said.

As a policy,  Rabuya, Contado said, would always require down payment that is equivalent to half of the total value of the illegal drugs purchase from his buyers.

“Kung musalig ka nila, ang ilahang paagi is mangayo sila sa katunga nga bayad sa imong gi order nga item unya the next kay kana na nga ihatag na nya para masiguro gyud sila nga legit gyud sila nga customer,” Contado said.

It took a month for PDEG-7 to place Rabuya under surveillance before they finally planned the buy-bust operation Friday night.

Law enforcers confiscated 210 grams of ‘shabu’ worth at least P1.4 million from Rabuya and Funcion.

The buy-bust operation was made in coordination with the Guadalupe Police Station and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-7).

Talisay Drug-Bust

A man, who allegedly use his makeshift shanty in Barangay Lagtang, Talisay City as a drug den, was arrested after concerned citizens reported his illegal activity to the police. | Photo courtesy of PDEG-7

At about 8 p.m. on Friday, Batobalonos said they also arrested Roger Sarlatan in his home in Sitio Burlas in Barangay Lagtang in Talisay City.

PDEG-7 agents confiscated 100 grams of ‘shabu’ worth P680,000 from him.

The arrest was made after his neighbors complained about Sarlatan’s alleged use of a shanty that he built beside his parent’s home into a drug den.  Most of his customers were tricycle drivers which drew concern from neighbors.

“In fact ang estorya sa nireklamo, gipatawag na daw nis kapitan pero wala nagpatuo unya ang mga silingan concerned kay gisamokan kay hangtod man sa kadlawn gud nga naa gihapoy manganha, so nahadlok sila ba,” Batobalonos said.

“Ingun ang mga silingan pasagdan raman kuno ni sya kay sge og pabadlong unya gawas pa edaran nasad sya,” he added.

Batobalonos said Sarlatan has been operating his drug den for a year now.  He is able to dispose of one to two grams of shabu per week.

As of this writing, police continue to investigate his source of illegal drugs.

READ: PDEG-7 intensifies monitoring of drug dens amid the pandemic

/ dcb

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TAGS: Cebu City, Illegal drug activities, PDEG-7, Talisay City, three arrests

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