COTABATO CITY: Agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PDEA-BARMM) arrested a man and his common-law wife during a drug buy-bust operation in Barangay Rosary Heights Mother here Friday.
Seized from Dennis Bestez, 24, and Julie Ann Talavera, 21, during the 9 p.m. sting operation were PHP40,000 worth of suspected shabu, drug paraphernalia, mobile phones, and marked money.
“The arrest of the couple also led to the dismantling of a drug den in the village,” Juvenal Azurin, PDEA-BARMM director, said.
Azurin noted that PDEA operatives have placed the couple under surveillance for a week before the entrapment operation.
The two are now detained at the PDEA-BARMM detention facility at PC Hill, Cotabato City while charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2000 are being readied against them.
The couple’s arrest came several hours after PDEA agents also nabbed a brother-sister tandem during an entrapment operation in nearby Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao on Friday that led to the recovery of shabu with an estimated street value of PHP2.8 million.
On Wednesday, PDEA agents, backed by soldiers and police officers, also collared a member of a big-time drug syndicate along the national highway in Barangay Pinguiaman in Datu Odin Sinsuat.
Government forces arrested Jordan Rakim, a member of the Islamic State-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and seized from him PHP3.4 million worth of suspected shabu.
Only this week, PDEA-BARMM seized some PHP6.2-million worth of shabu and arrested five persons.
(PNA/ Edwin Fernandez/ SRNY/ RSP)