The City Police Office (CPO) announced this week it had arrested 14 high value targets (HVT) in its stepped up anti-drugs campaign Double Barrel Reloaded.
“We have increased our operations against illegal drugs in Puerto Princesa, and we are hoping that through the support of our surrounding communities, we would be able to make more important apprehensions,” Senior Superintendent Ronnie Francis Cariaga said in a press conference Thursday.
Cariaga did not identify the persons arrested but said the apprehensions were “solid cases” conducted in coordination with the city government’s anti-drugs group Task Force BANAT (Bayan Against Narcotics, Addiction & Trafficking).
“Our heightened buy-bust operations have resulted in the arrest of 14 high-value targets in Puerto Princesa with solid cases. These arrests have been reported to our regional office,” Cariaga said.
On Monday, a correction officer, Paul Ronald Magay, 43, of the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm (IPPF), was arrested by operatives of BANAT following a buy-bust operation in Barangay San Manuel.
He was arrested after allegedly trying to sell two sachets of suspected shabu that cost Php8,000 to a poser-buyer by BANAT. Found in his possession were two other sachets of white crystalline substance.
The operation was launched by City Drug Enforcement Unit (CDEU) with the CPO headed by Police Inspector Mervin Immaculata. Apparently, Magay was arrested due to tip offs by police assets.
Magay’s arrest was also due to the apprehension of a certain Annie Ordona, a businesswoman, who pointed to him as the source of shabu. She was arrested with two others.
While cops were conducting an inventory of illegal drug paraphernalia in her possession, Magay was said to be sending her text messages to remit illegal drugs profit. The joint BANAT and CPO team set up an entrapment and told Ordona to follow Magay’s instruction around 8:00 p.m. on August 21.
This was followed by the arrest too, of a former barangay official in Typoco Village, San Manuel.
“We are doing this to prevent the spread of illegal drugs in Puerto Princesa, and we hope that surrounding communities would also help us by not being afraid to stand witness against those were arrested due to our operations,” Cariaga said.