4 drug syndicate members in NorthCot nabbed

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 4 Aug) Operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Region 12 arrested four members of a notorious drug syndicate in three separate incidents in North Cotabato Wednesday, a police officer said.

The PDEA-12, led by regional director Gil Castro, conducted search operations in at least 10 houses in two separate areas in the municipality of Kabacan for 20 suspected drug personalities included in their watch list. Hours later, they proceeded to Kidapawan City to conduct a buy-bust operation.

Around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, the PDEA-12 started the search on members of the Simbualan Drug Group (SDG) in two separate areas in Poblacion, Kabacan.

Police records showed that of the more than 10 persons included in the 20 search warrants issued by Judge Alandrex Betoya of the Regional Trial Court Branch 16, only three were apprehended by the police.

Castro identified the suspects as Jojo Alon, 42; Allan Alon, 41; and Sukarno Bedik Ali alias Bong Ali, 40. All are residents of Poblacion, Kabacan.

Two of their leaders identified as Elmer Ones alias Taming, 43, of Mantawil Street; and Joeboy Kansi Manuel, of Zamora Street, escaped from the dragnet, reports added.

Castro said they recovered from the suspects at least 5 grams of shabu with an estimated street value of P22,500.

In Kidapawan City, the PDEA operatives apprehended another member of the syndicate identified as John Ryan Cua Alvarez, 29, of Barangay Sudapin, this city, in a buy-bust operation around 2 p.m. also on Wednesday.

Castro said they placed Alvarez under tight monitoring and surveillance since July, getting tips from the suspect’s neighbors.

Alvarez is the fourth member of the notorious SDG whose operations include North Cotabato and nearby provinces in Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao.

The group is based in Kidapawan City, which, according to Castro, is not only involved in drug trafficking but also in motorcycle theft, carnapping, and gunrunning.

“The Simbualan Drug Group was created after several drug syndicates were busted by our group and other PNP units since 2016,” he said. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)