Maguindanao barangay captain, 3 others nabbed for illegal drugs

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 15 Aug) – Anti-drug operatives from Region 12 and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) arrested one of the most high-valued targets in terms of the scope of his illegal drug operations in a raid they conducted dawn on Monday, reports said.

Arrested was a certain Nelson Sulayman Salama, 47, barangay chairman of Poblacion in Montawal, Maguindanao, according to reports from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Also apprehended during the raid were Salama’s wife, Norhata, 42; Johari Sombaga, 20, of Poblacion, Pikit; and Kabunto Batunan, 39, allegedly a member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Aside from Salama, the three were reportedly also in the PDEA’s drug watch list.

Kabunto of the MILF was also tagged as a high-value target, reports added.

The PDEA-12 said they raided Salama’s house located along Mercado Street in Poblacion, Kabacan at 4:10 a.m. on Monday, based on the search warrant issued by Judge Alandrex Betoya of the Regional Trial Court branch 16 based in Kabacan, North Cotabato.

During the raid, PDEA operatives seized from Salama’s hideout 43 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride locally known as shabu with an estimated street value of P292,400.

Also recovered from the area were a caliber .40 pistol with 35 rounds of ammunition, 20 rounds of ammunition for caliber 5.56, and several drug paraphernalia.

Salama, according to reports, is the spokesperson for the mayor and vice mayor of Datu Montawal.

Salama and his group were placed under the custody of Kabacan municipal police station while charges of violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and RA 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Act are being readied against them, the PDEA said. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)