Cebu City drug raids: 2 suspected Brgy. Luz drug dens shut down; P176,800 shabu seized
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Authorities shut down two suspected drug dens in Barangay Luz, Cebu City during two buy-bust operations a few minutes apart on Saturday, July 1, 2023.
They also confiscated P176,800 worth of suspected shabu during the two operations and arrested eight persons.
First drug den raided
The authorities made their move at 2:49 p.m. on Saturday, July 1, when they conducted a buy-bust operation in the house of Genewin Romano in Sitio Abellana.
Operatives from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-7) and policemen of the Mabolo Police Station arrested Romano, 38, who was identified as the suspected drug den maintainer or caretaker after the buy-bust operation was done.
According to the PDEA-7, aside from Romano, two others — Bridget Dawn Ontoy, 23, and Lefty Luke Lao, 37 — who were considered as alleged drug den visitors, were also arrested.
Two packs of suspected shabu weighing 11 grams were also confiscted from the suspects. These have an estimated market value of P74,800.
Several drug paraphernalias were also confiscted from the suspects.
Second drug den raided
Then a few minutes after the buy-bust operation against Romano, another anti-illegal drug operation was also conducted and this time they targeted a house 20 meters away from Romano’s house, whom they believed was also a suspected drug den.
Authorities then arrested Faustino San Roque Jr., 29, and Rojar Alburo, 44, when the buy-bust was done.
San Roque was identified as the alleged drug den maintainer or caretaker, and Alburo was his alleged cohort.
Three others, who were considered as alleged drug den visitors, were also arrested during the anti-illegal drugs operation. They were Antonio Medilo Jr. 31; Redan Rellesiba, 25; and Jovelyn Roldan, 34.
Authorities also confiscated seven packs of suspected shabu weighing 15 grams, which had an estimated market value of P102,000.
They also said the suspected drug dens were the houses of Romano and San Roque.
Police also said that Romano and San Roque were in their watchlist of drug personalities in the area.
High impact operations
Leia Alcantara, PDEA-7 spokesperson, said that the agency considered the operation a high-impact one.
“When we talk about drug den, kami sa PDEA, we consider this a high impact operation kay (because of) the effect of drug den in a community,” Albiar said in a phone interview with CDN Digital.
“Dako kaayo siya, considering nga kaning mga drug dens, they are breeding grounds for violence and makadisrupt gyud siya sa peace and order situation sa barangay or sa community. Mao nang high impact operations ni sila basta muingon tag dismantling of drug den,” she said.
(The effect is really big, considering that these drug dens, they are breeding grounds for violence and they can really disrupt the peace and order situation of the barangay or the community. That is why when we say dismantling of a drug den, they are called high impact operations.)
Alcantara also said that the community also helped in these operations.
She said that they received information about these drug dens from concerned citizens or individuals, who reported the existence of these suspected drug dens in the area.
“Naa gyoy mga nagpakabana sa ilahang lugar. Nakabantay gyud siguro nga naa silay mga nabantayan nga mga tawo ba,” Alcantara said.
(There are people who really cared about their community. They noticed that there are many people going there.)
“Mao man gud ni usually sa indication nga a place could be a drug den — Kanang naay magsigeg adto unya wala kaila ang mga tawo kinsa ni sila. Day in, day out, maski unsa orasa naay magsige adto dili taga diha,” she said.
(That is usually an indication that a place could be a drug den — the sign where several people who are new to the area would visit the place. Day in and day out, at any time of the day, they will visit the place.)
She also said that the concerned citizens might have observed that the people who were going in and out of the houses were acting differently, so they reported these to the authorities.
Monitored drug dens
Alcantara also said that their team had been observing the suspected drug dens for a month already.
“Gisurveillance sa atong team, mga almost one month gyud daw as per the team. Gimonitor nila didto. Gicase buildup, and eventually, gahapon they were able to successfully conduct the two operations,” she said.
(Our team did a surveillance for almost a month. They monitored these houses. They did a case buildup, and eventually, yesterday (July 1), they were able to successfully conduct the two operations.)
Those arrested were detained at the PDEA-7 detention cell pending the filing of illegal drug charges.
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