GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 07 October) — Authorities arrested an alleged “drug mule” while attempting to sneak in around P100,000 worth of suspected shabu into the South Cotabato Rehabilitation and Detention Center or provincial jail in Koronadal City on Sunday.
Kath Abad, public information officer of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Region 12, said on Monday that the illegal drugs were found by police and jail personnel in the possession of suspect Joy Marcera Gallego, 42, during a routine inspection.
She said Gallego was about to enter the jail at around 8:30 a.m. to visit her husband when the contraband was recovered.
“It was found hidden in a small space on the soles of her sandals,” Abad said in a radio interview.
Seized from the suspect were three large sachets of suspected shabu weighing about 15 grams, with an estimated street value of P100,000, she said.
Abad said these were recovered by provincial jail personnel led by acting warden Felicito Gumapac and police operatives led by Maj. Arnold Cariño.
She said PDEA agents handled the inventory of the illegal drugs and confirmation through laboratory testing.
Provincial jail personnel have been on high alert for the possible entry of illegal drugs and other contraband following the recovery of suspected shabu in two major “greyhound” operations in August.
In the first operation, at least three sachets of shabu were found in the jail’s cell number 09 while 58 inmates turned out positive for drug use in random tests.
Fifteen more sachets of shabu were recovered inside several pipes that were used as clothesline by inmates in cell number 16 in the second operation.
Abad said it was possible that Gallego had long been sneaking in shabu into the provincial jail and among the sources of the seized items these past months.
“She could have used this kind of tactic in the past. It’s fortunate that she was finally caught,” she said.
Abad said Gallego, who is detained at the PDEA-12 lockup here, will be charged with violation of Section 11 or possession of dangerous drugs under Article II of Republic Act 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
But she said the charges could be upgraded to Section 5 for transporting illegal drugs or acting as “mule” to bring them into the provincial jail. (MindaNews)