‘Kuratong Baleleng’ couple’s house in Guadalupe, Cebu City seized

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THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 7 served on Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, a freeze order against the property of alleged drug personalities Artemio Salas and his wife Daisy and seized their house in Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City.

The operation was led by PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva, who was accompanied by members of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).

The freeze order was issued by the Special Second Division of the Court of Appeals.

The house and the car parked in the garage are estimated to be worth millions of pesos.

Daisy is the sister of former Ozamiz mayor Reynaldo Parojinog, who was killed in an anti-drug operation by police officers in July 2017.

The Salas couple was out but their son-in-law was there to receive the order.

“Artemio and Daisy Salas are members of the Kuratong Baleleng drug group, whose leader was the late mayor Reynaldo Parojinog, Daisy’s brother,” Villanueva said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

He said Artemio and Daisy were in charge of laundering the money the group allegedly earned from its illegal activities.

Many of the group’s properties in Ozamiz City, Maasin in Southern Leyte and Cebu City, places where the group allegedly conducts illegal drugs operations, are under the couple’s names, he said.

Aside from properties, the PDEA also plans to apply for a freeze order with the help of the AMLC against a bank account of the Salas couple, which reportedly contains millions of pesos in deposits.

Artemio Baculi, sub-group head of the AMLC’s anti-drug trafficking group, said they’ve managed to freeze seven of the couple’s bank accounts as well as 12 motorcycles and several firearms.

“This is related to drug trafficking so that is the predicate crime that we used. That’s why these were frozen,” Baculi said in Tagalog.

Based on the investigation of the AMLC, the couple has conducted millions in bank transactions even though the family’s only visible source of income is Artemio’s job as a security guard.

Meanwhile, Villanueva said the family’s frozen properties cannot be sold or pawned.

Artemio and Daisy’s whereabouts remain unknown. The two have pending arrest warrants and are wanted for their alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade. (AYB, BBT, GPL / PJB)