COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 12 June) – Three women were arrested in a joint anti-drug operation here Wednesday morning, with the suspects bringing with them four children apparently in an attempt to disguise their operations, authorities said.
Joint operatives from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PDEA-BARMM), Cotabato City police and Special Forces elements from the 5th Infantry Battalion arrested the suspects Raihana Mamalangkay Macalimpas, Malvina Mokamad Duluan and Dacel Duluan around 10 a.m. along Governor Gutierrez Avenue near the barter trade area and fronting the gate of the BARMM compound.
According to Director Juvenal Azurin, of the PDEA-BARMM, the suspects brought four children in an attempt to disguise their transactions, dealing 200 grams of suspected shabu amounting to P1.3 million.
“Upon confirming they brought the item hidden in a mosquito repellent box, the troops immediately jumped to the scene and successfully arrested the suspects,” he said.
The suspects, in an interview, told newsmen that a man has told them to bring the item to a certain person, which turned out to be planted by authorities to pose as buyer.
The women said they brought the children along because they were reportedly told by a man to bring the suspected shabu, and that they had no idea it would eventually involve an illegal drugs deal. They were reportedly promised that they will be treated to a famous food store after they bring the item.
But PDEA agents are not buying the suspects’ alibi.
The husband of one of the suspects, Raihana Mamalangkas, was also arrested last year in Pigcawayan, North Cotabato for possession of half kilo of suspected shabu during a summit on the Bangsamoro organic law which he allegedly attended.
He is now detained in a jail in Kidapawan City in North Cotabato.
PDEA-BARMM is set to file charges against the apprehended women and coordinating with the local office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for the turnover of the four children to their parents or guardians. (Ferdinandh Cabrera / MindaNews)