Hunt on for 2 escaped drug pushers in Davao raid

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 22 Feb) – Authorities continue to hunt down two suspected illegal drug pushers who escaped during the raid in the outskirts of the city early Friday morning.

The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Davao City Police Office (DCPO), and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) mounted the simultaneous anti-drug operation of 26 houses at Barangay Ilang, Tibungco, Bunawan District that resulted to the death of 7 and the arrest of 33 people.

The police identified the escaped suspects as Roger Solo and Bob Bawa.

The search warrants were issued by Judge Pelagio Paguican of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 12 and Judge Ridgway Tangili of Branch 15, dated by February 13 and 17, respectively.

Sr. Supt. Joel Pernito, regional chief of the CIDG 11, said that among those arrested were a South Korean national, four women and two minors.

As of press time, the apprehended suspects were Ki Chul Kwak, Marivic J. Solo, Rakman A. Tandih, Sitty Fatima Y. Igasan, Mary Jean A. Bawa, Salicia Sarani, Fahad S. Sarani, Fahad S. Wahab, Andrey B. Aware, Moctar A. Arjeron, Felix J. Maugen, Alex S. Sarani, Eric A. Manisan, Nasser A. Wahab, Hassan E. Hajawi, Jean S. Hajawi, Regan Arpa, Khasmer Nassal, Said Asi, Wahid Sakili, Pantagon Araje, Hasanal Cal Sahisan, Bobby Araje, Abra Jimlani, Johhny Solo, Arola Yacob, Taweng Yacob, Ablas Taung and the rest were not yet identified.

Pernito said the seven casualties were killed during the operation when they resisted arrest.

He said they received information from an insider of the shabu “tiangge” (market) and drug dens operated by a group of pushers in the area.

The fatalities were identified as Musa Sailama, Faisal Albani, Langga Maugen, Bob Jimlani, Sulani Ainal, Dark Abdul Nawang, and Rolan Cabanto.

Pernito added that they have been monitoring the drug dens for quite some time to build up the case.

Aside from the illegal drug trade, the area has been identified by authorities as haven for those involved in gun-running and robbery-holdup.

The operatives seized an undetermined amount of shabu, drug paraphernalia, 11 firearms loaded with live ammunition and three hand grenades.

PDEA-11 spokesman Nephi Dimaandal said it was the second operation in the area and was also included in the “Oplan Tokhang” (which involved house visitation of the suspected drug dealers) during the time of former city police chief Ronald dela Rosa

In 2012, 20 people, including a woman, were arrested in a series of raids on eight suspected drug dens in the same area.

Meanwhile, Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte dangled a bounty to lure village officials to join in the fight against illegal drugs as authorities have monitored the entry of a highly processed form of shabu.

Rewards of cars and money were dangled to barangay officials after a newer form of shabu was monitored by authorities.

“We have obtained this new kind of shabu, which is like powder,” said Duterte.

Based on the records of PDEA 11, they seized P25-million wroth of illegal drugs for 2013, which was way higher than the P5.4-million haul in the previous year.

But 2013’s performance still trails the biggest drug operation in the city after operatives seized 76.8 kilograms of high-grade shabu with a street value of P152 million from a drug laboratory in Dumoy, Talomo District on Dec. 31, 2004, wherein six suspected drug dealers, believed to be Chinese or Taiwanese, were killed in the bust.