By Masiding Noor Yahya
Authorities have arrested recently top three drug personalities in Lanao del Sur in a buy-bust operation inside an eatery at Rapasun village within the premises of Mindanao State University main campus here, police said.
In a statement, PCol. Rex O. Derilo, provincial director of Lanao del Sur Police Provincial Office (LDSPPO), said arrested by LDSPPO joint units were Asraf Moluc aka Sowair, Mindalano Lantong aka Paul, Patty Benito Paloma, and Mahid Macabato
“The One suspect identified as Mahid Pumbaya, the alleged maintainer of the place defined as drug den, eluded arrest during the operation,” added Derilo.
PMaj. Christopher Cabugwang led the operation, under the direct supervision of Derilo and in coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
Seized were one (1) unit pistol Colt Cal .45; One (1) magazine loaded with live ammunitions; a small heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance believed to be shabu; the marked money used in the poseur transaction; and two (2) pieces Ziplock plastic bag containing white crystalline substance believed to be shabu weighing about 350 grams with an estimated DDB market value of Php 2.38M.
The suspects were brought to LDSPPO for documentation procedures and the pieces of evidence were brought to the PNP Provincial Crime Laboratory for forensics examination.
Appropriate charges in relation to Republic Act (RA) 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and RA 10591 for Illegal Possession of Firearms are set to be filed against the suspects.
ASRAF GANI, 36 years old, is No. 3 in the list of the drug personalities operating in the province and has a standing warrant of arrest for robbery.
PATTY BENITO, 49 years old, is a junior process server in one of the municipal courts of Lanao del Sur.
MAHID MACABATO, 35 years old, is a private security guard posted in a government establishment.
Further investigation also revealed that the said restaurant has rooms for rent in the first floor as well as in the second floor. Visitors, mostly students of the university allegedly frequent the place, despite of the pandemic and no face-to-face classes being offered.
Derilo said “We will continue to intensify our operations against the same illegal activity in any particular locations, giving relentless focus on high value target individuals, in line with directives of our Regional Director, PRO BAR, PBEGN SAMUEL P RODRIGUEZ.” (MNY)