Cebu police units seize over P8M worth of shabu

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MORE than P8 million worth of illegal drugs were seized after nine people were caught in separate anti-narcotics operations in the cities of Toledo and Cebu and Liloan town in northern Cebu on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022.

In Barangay Das, Toledo City, 35-year-old Raffy Chavez Hermona was arrested for allegedly peddling illegal drugs.

Hermona originally hails from Sitio Cotcot, Barangay Mabini, Cadiz City, Negros Occidental, according to SSgt. Fredenil Cabañero, desk officer of the Toledo City Police Station.

The suspect is considered a high-value individual and listed as a top target in the regional level.

Police led by Lt. Col. Dennis de Guzman and a joint team of the Police Intervention Unit and Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit of the Cebu Provincial Police Office found Hermona in his house around 7 p.m.

They recovered 1.1 kilos of suspected shabu worth P7,484,828; P1,000 in marked money; P3,000 in cash believed to be proceeds from the illegal drug trade; and drug paraphernalia.

Hermona told police he was not involved in the illegal drug trade. However, despite his denial, he will still be charged with violating Republic Act (RA) 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Around 10 p.m., a former waiter was arrested during a buy-bust along Archbishop Reyes Ave. in Barangay Luz, Cebu City.

The suspect was identified as 33-year-old John Gerard Ventura, a resident of Sitio Abellana in the same barangay.

Maj. Joeffre Grande, team leader of the Regional Police Drug Enforcement Unit 7, led the operation.

Seized from the suspect were 155 grams of suspected shabu worth more than P1 million, based on the standard drug price.

According to Grande, they placed Ventura under surveillance for almost three weeks before hatching a plan to take him into custody.

When questioned, Ventura admitted selling the illegal drugs, saying he was lured by the pay, which ranged between P3,000 and P4,000 daily.

Other anti-narcotics operations led to the arrest of drivers Alvin Viageador, 39, and Wilfredo Bibanco, 33, in Barangay Poblacion, Liloan, at 11 a.m. They yielded 10 grams of shabu worth P68,000.

Jerome Alburo, 38, and his live-in partner Hilda Cullamat, 47, were arrested in Barangay Parian, Cebu City, while Francis Valendez, 35, was arrested in Barangay Kamagayan, also in Cebu City. Operatives of the Parian Police Station seized 16 grams of shabu worth P108,000 from the three suspects.

A sexaganarian was finally placed behind bars after eluding arrest for the past several months.

Dolores Quijano Aro, 66, was arrested by members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Mandaue Field Unit, City Mobile Force Company of the Cebu City Police Office, 1st Philippine Mobile Force Company of the Cebu Provincial Police Office, Regional Intelligence Unit 7 and Consolacion police at Block 1, Belgium St., Barangay Suba.

They were armed with an arrest warrant issued by Regional Trial Court Branch 21 Judge Pamela Altar last Aug. 11.

Aro is facing a case for violating Sections 5 (sale of illegal drugs) and 11 (possession of illegal drugs) of RA 9165. She is currently detained at the CIDG 7 stockade. (GDC, BBT / PJB)