5 drug suspects nabbed in Sarangani

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/7 March) – Police operatives arrested five alleged drug pushers from Maguindanao and North Cotabato in an operation on Wednesday night in Malapatan town, Sarangani province.

Police/Brig. Gen. Eliseo Tam Rasco, regional director of the Police Regional Office-12, said Thursday the suspects were intercepted around 8:15 p.m. while fleeing from an entrapment aboard a sports utility vehicle (SUV) at a checkpoint in front of the Malapatan municipal hall.

He identified the suspects as Tato Mundas Mamalangkas alias Rasty, 29; Nashif Esmael Mudas, 22; Sabri Abas Salipada, 28; Habib Bacularan Saligan, 21; and, Jay-ar Suray Esmael, 18.

Salipada was listed as a resident of Barangay Matilac in Pigcawayan,  North Cotabato while the four others were from Barangay Simuay in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

Rasco said the suspects were initially subjected to a buy-bust operation at 6:33 p.m. along the national highway infront of the Sarangani provincial capitol in Alabel town.

He said the operating team, which was composed elements from the Sarangani police’s drug enforcement unit, mobile force company, intelligence branch and Alabel municipal police station, was able to buy four sachets of suspected shabu worth P5,000 from Mamalangas.

“But during the transaction, alias Rasty sensed that he was dealing with a police officer and immediately escaped,” he said in a report.

The police official said the suspect boarded a silver-gray Nissan X-Trail SUV with license plate XNE 727 that sped off towards Malapatan town.

He said the team then alerted the Malapatan police station, which managed to stop the vehicle at the checkpoint.

Recovered inside the SUV were nine more sachets of suspected shabu, six pieces of 1,000 bills and a brown wallet containing the five P1,000 bills used in the buy-bust, he said.

Rasco said the search was witnessed by barangay officials of Poblacion, Malapatan and a media worker.

He said the suspects, who were detained at Malapatan municipal police station, will be charged with selling and possession of dangerous drugs. (MindaNews)