9 suspects yield shabu worth P7M

TWO of the nine suspects who were arrested in separate drug operations in Cebu City in less than 24 hours are siblings.

Lewis Lacida, 36, and his sister Hazel, 39, were caught in Sitio Nipaan, Barangay Sawang Calero on Wednesday night, Nov. 27, 2019. Seized from them were 940 grams of suspected shabu worth P6.392 million, based on the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) value.

According to Capt. Francis Renz Talosig, head of the Mambaling Police Station, Lewis can be considered a high-value target, while his sister helped him move the illegal drugs.

Lewis told police that they only operated in Barangays Pasil and Ermita and that he only got involved in the illegal drug trade for a week.

But Talosig said they had monitored the siblings’ movements for almost two weeks before they conducted the operation.

“Usa ka semana nga kapin sa usa ka semana naman gali namo siya gimonitor (How can he be dealing for a week when we’ve had him under surveillance for almost two weeks),” the police officer said.

Lewis allegedly could dispose of 1,300 grams of shabu each week. The Lacidas would get a P10,000 commission if they could sell a kilo of shabu a week. Lewis said he used the money to buy medicines for their mother, who is paralyzed.

The Lacidas started their illegal business five months ago. The drugs are delivered to their house in Sawang Calero. The siblings both denied knowing their supplier.

“Code name ra gyud sila, wala gyud sila magkailhanay silang tanan (They’re all using code names, so they don’t know each other’s real identities),” Talosig said.

At 12:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 28, Mambaling police arrested a couple on C. Padilla St. They were identified as Manuelito Membrillos, 48, and his wife Cherry, 34. The two are from Sitio Panagdait, Barangay Ermita.

Police seized from them 105 grams of suspected shabu worth P714,000, based on the DDB value.

Operatives of the San Nicolas Police Station headed by Maj. Kenneth Paul Albotra also arrested two women in separate operations in Barangay Sawang Calero.

One of them was identified as 54-year-old Emelyn Dingtol, alias Melyn, a resident of Barangay Duljo-Fatima, and 49-year-old Celsa Veldolosa, alias Yoking, a resident of Barangay Lorega-San Miguel.

Police took into custody Jonathan “Dodong” Saraga, 33, and Romeo Calinawan, 54, who were allegedly buying drugs from Dingtol.

Close to P340,000 worth of suspected shabu was confiscated from Dingtol during the operation past 6 p.m. last Wednesday, Nov. 27.

The Regional Special Operations Group 7 and the Regional Drug Enforcement Unit 7 also arrested 64-year-old Leopoldo Gabuya, alias German, in Barangay Pardo. The suspect allegedly yielded P40,000 worth of suspected shabu.

Gabuya rented out rooms but allegedly sold shabu on the side.

On Thursday, Nov. 28, the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 raised its intelligence monitoring after National Capital Region Police Office Director Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas revealed that a portion of the seized 300 kilograms of shabu with an estimated value of P2.5 billion might have been allotted to Central Visayas.

According to Police Brigadier General Sinas, all the drugs available in Cebu are from the capital. There was a great possibility that a portion of the drugs seized from the Makati warehouse on Wednesday, Nov. 27, was for Region 7, he said.

Sinas formerly served as director of PRO 7 for a year and four months during which he seized a total of P1.2 billion worth of illegal drugs during his term.

Col. Giovanie Maines, Cebu City Police Office officer-in-charge and current deputy regional director for operation of the PRO 7, said they will monitor the possible arrival of the drug supply inside tea bags allegedly from abroad.

He also ordered the Mambaling Police Station to further investigate the Lacidas as some of the nearly one kilo of suspected shabu seized from them were inside Chinese tea bags. (BBT, AYB, RKT, PJB)