PDEA-12 sues cop, 4 others for illegal drugs

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/07 March) — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Region 12 has filed multiple drug charges against a police officer and four other persons who were arrested in a drug buy-bust operation here around midnight on Wednesday.

Aileen Lovitos, PDEA Region 12 director, identified the suspects as Police Officer 1 Johnysen Cardos and alleged cohorts Maria Duares, Marietta Echaves, Halima Castro and Hernan Montecalvo, all residents of Barangay Dadiangas West here.

She said Cardos was nabbed by joint PDEA and police operatives in a house in Purok Silway in Dadiangas West after selling a sachet of suspected metamphetamine hydrocholoride or shabu to an agent who posed as a buyer.

The operatives arrested the four other suspects who were then inside the house, which reportedly doubles as a drug den, she said.

The official said they recovered inside the house a sachet containing about a gram of suspected shabu, various drug paraphernalia and the P500 marked money that was used by their agent in buying shabu from Cardos.

Citing a report from the Police Regional Office 12, Lovitos said PO1 Cardos has been assigned at the city police office but went on absence without official leave or AWOL since January 17.

“We’ve been tracking down his activities these past weeks and after confirming his involvement in the selling of illegal drugs, we decided to immediately launch the operation,” she said.

Lovitos said they have filed charges on Thursday for violation of Sections 5, 6, 7 and 11 of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 against Cardos and the four other suspects.

Section 5 provides for the prohibition on the “sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of dangerous drugs and/or controlled precursors and essential chemicals”

Sections 6 and 7 refer to violations regarding the “maintenance of a (drug) den, dive or resort” and working or visiting such kind of facilities while Section 11 pertains to “possession of dangerous drugs.”

Noting Cardos’ physical appearance, Lovitos said it appears that he has been also using shabu aside from selling them.

“He has been scheduled to undergo a drug test to confirm this,” she said.

The Philippine National Police had set the outright dismissal from service of any police officer who is found positive of using illegal drugs.

Last year, the PDEA-12 arrested four policemen and a member of the Philippine Army in a series of operations in this city and neighboring areas.

Lovitos said the Army member and three of the policemen were arrested in separate buy-bust operations in this city while another policeman was nabbed in Polomolok town in South Cotabato.

The suspects have all been dismissed from service and are presently facing charges in local courts, she said.

The PDEA-12 shifted the focus of their operations since last year on the “high-value targets” based on a directive from PDEA Director General Arturo Cacdac.

In a briefer, PDEA said the high-value target drug personalities include those involved in priority targets and drug groups; elected and appointed government officials, employees and law enforcers; foreign nationals; wanted listed personalities; celebrities and other well-known individuals; and members of armed groups.

In late December, regional police operatives arrested a barangay chair of Banga town in South Cotabato who was tagged as behind the distribution of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu in the area.

A barangay councilman of Ambalgan in Sto. Nino town in South Cotabato was also arrested in a series of anti-drugs raids in the area last month. (MindaNews)