Police nabs 9 for drugs, murder

Also arrested were Rodolfo Engalia, Gil Doctor, Muham Piping, and Omar Musa, all residents of Alim Street, a known drug haven here.

Ajero, former intelligence chief of the North Cotabato Provincial Police Command, said  they had been following Espejo for so long a time because of drug trafficking. When they collared Espejo in one of the houses in Alim Street, they recovered from her methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as shabu, placed in small cellophane bags weighing 0.2 grams, marked money, blank checks, and other drug paraphernalia.

Ajero, who led the group that collared Espejo and four other suspected drug couriers, said Espejo has acted as dealer of a line of popular beauty products in selling shabu.
But a relative of Espejo told a radio station here that the charges hurled against the suspect was "baseless."

"She was just there to collect debts from those who bought her products. She's not into selling drugs," said the relative who requested anonymity.

Charges of violation of Republic Act 9465 or Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act  were filed against Espejo and the four others.

"The evidences are very strong. We're sure they can't post bail," said Ajero.

In Cotabato City, police arrested four wanted persons allegedly involved in a murder case during an operation conducted last Monday at Campo Muslim in Barangay Bagua.

Sr. Insp. Leo Obatay, chief of the Cotabato City Police, identified the suspects as Tammy Saklao Kudarat, 33; Nasser Dago Tapurok, 39; Tho Kikaya Sangeban, 23; and Victor Ulangkaya Akmad, 26.

According to a report from the Police Regional Office No.12, the authorities recovered from the suspects four unlicensed firearms — one caliber .45 pistol with 10 bullets, one caliber .38 caliber bearing serial number 92123 with five bullets, and two other pistols.

Chief Insp. Ruel Berango, chief of the administrative division of the Police Regional Command, said that the suspects were arrested by virtue of a warrant of arrest for murder docketed under criminal case number 2003-221.

Berango said that cases of violation of the Presidential Decree 1866 as amended by Republic Act 8294, or the Illegal Possession of Firearms Act, had already been filed against them. (Malu Cadeliña Manar/MindaNews)