KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/20 March) – Authorities arrested in a buy-bust raid here noon today a couple alleged to be drug couriers.
Supt. Renante Cabico, chief of the Kidapawan City PNP, identified the suspects as Fatima Masukat and Benjie Dilangalen Payod, both residents of Barangay Tunggol in Montawal, Maguindanao. They were arrested inside Survive Travelers’ Inn.
Recovered from the suspects were 2 grams of shabu, marked money worth P700, a Kawasaki Fury motorcycle, ATM cards, several IDs, mobile phones and drug paraphernalia.
Cabico said they started surveillance of the couple since Monday night.
The couple, according to reports, has just arrived from nearby Digos City in Davao del Sur where they allegedly delivered several shabu to their customers.
“The stocks had come from different sources in Datu Montawal town in Maguindanao and Pikit in North Cotabato. Kidapawan City is just one of their transshipment areas or ‘bagsakan’ in Central Mindanao,” said Cabico.
The couple’s son, according to reports, was also involved in drug trafficking. He was reportedly arrested months earlier during another buy-bust raid here.
Cabico disclosed the couple had attempted to bribe them with P200,000. “But we didn’t give in to their bribes. We are bent on filing charges against them no matter what,” said the police officer.
The police is now readying charges of violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act against the couple. These charges are reportedly non-bailable.
“They even told us that if the charges against them would prosper in court, they already have readied the money to be paid to the judge that would handle their case,” Cabico said. “But we would continue the campaign without let-up. We’re not lowering our guards,” he added.
Cabico, only 34 years old, is so far Kidapawan’s youngest chief of police. He was appointed after the February 19 attack at the city jail that left three people dead and 17 others injured. (Malu Cadeliña Manar / MindaNews)