Suspects arrested in billion-peso drug raids in Luzon include 3 Negrenses

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THREE residents of San Carlos City, Negros Occidental were among those arrested during anti-illegal drugs operations in Pangasinan and La Union on Friday morning, Aug. 12, 2022.

The raids were led by agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency with the help of police and members of the military.

The suspects were identified as Jenson Rey Yago, 29; his brother-in-law Ritchell Repuesto, 28; and Ritchell’s brother John Paul, 18.

Yago and Ritchell were arrested together with Ke Wujia, alias James Dagale Galopo, a 49-year-old Chinese national from San Vicente Sur, Agoo, La Union; and Johnbert Yagong, a 22-year-old resident of San Agustin Norte, Agoo, in Turquoise St., Sunshine Village, Pozorrubio, Pangasinan at 11:30 a.m.

John Paul was arrested in a follow-up operation along with Romel Leyese from Bagong Silangan, Quezon City, in Ilang-Ilang St., Barangay Poro, San Fernando, La Union at 12:45 p.m.

A total of 400 kilos of suspected shabu worth P2.72 billion, based on the standard drug price, were seized during both operations.

Lieutenant Colonel Jesus Misahon Jr., chief of the San Carlos City Police Station, said he ordered his men to interview relatives of the three suspects from San Carlos City after he received a call from the national headquarters.

He said Yago and the Repuesto siblings are not on their drug watch list.

“During our investigation, we found out that not many people know who Yago and the Repuesto siblings are. In fact, they come from very poor families,” Misahon said in Cebuano.

Misahon said Ritchell used to work in Cebu City but he returned to San Carlos after a few months. Ritchell also had a brief stint as a welder in Iloilo but he returned to San Carlos soon after.

Ritchel brought along his younger brother John Paul and his brother-in-law Yago when he was offered a job to take care of a house of a Chinese national in La Union. They also worked as drivers in Pangasinan.

Misahon said the three suspects’ relatives were surprised when police informed them about the arrest.

Meanwhile, the police official said they will strictly monitor the movement of illegal drugs so that these and other contraband cannot enter San Carlos City.

"Here in San Carlos City, we have been coordinating with all concerned agencies in the war against illegal drugs. With this recent development, we will double our efforts to prevent the entry of illegal drugs and other contraband,” Misahon said in Cebuano.

He did not discount the possibility that Friday’s raids were connected to separate drugs raids in Cebu City and Negros Occidental last June 14 that yielded around 12 kilos of shabu worth more than P80 million.

Arrested during a buy-bust on P. del Rosario Extension, Barangay Sambag 1, Cebu City were Cornelio Baron Jr. and his sister-in-law Jacqueline Baron, who both hailed from Urban Poor, Phase 4, Fatima Village, Barangay Rizal, San Carlos City.

Also arrested on the same day in San Carlos City was Jacqueline’s husband Rex for having in his possession around two kilos of shabu with a street value of P13 million.

Misahon said that although they don’t have any evidence to link the incidents, they will check if they are connected.

“We will focus on this aspect because the incidents may be connected. However, based on our initial investigation, it doesn’t look like the suspects in Friday’s operations and the suspects in last June’s operations know each other. Then again, we don’t know unless we check,” he said in Cebuano.