Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency agents arrest Moro Islamic Liberation Front member

FOURTEEN suspected drug personalities, two of them a member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and a Department of Agrarian Reform employee in Cotabato City are now in jail after being arrested in an anti-narcotics operation by agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency last Thursday, PDEA chair, Director General Aaron N. Aquino said yesterday.

The official said that the suspects were led by MILF member Tanto Abubakar Datukali alias ‘Tanto Dimaukom Bongoton’, the main target of the operation which resulted in the seizure of nearly P400,000 worth of shabu, assorted drug paraphernalia and an unlicensed gun and several ammunition.

Apart from Datukali, also arrested during the operation conducted by members of the PDEA  Bangsamoro Autonomous Region office were DAR Region 12 administrative aide Faisal Manaloto Maruhom, suspected drug den caretaker Mohamad Gani Lagantao and drug dive visitors  Solaiman Gedtan, Junaiden Mantawil, Datucon Tan Jainal, Rodel Budi, Dondon Martin, Sandra Samud, Nor Ain Kanakan, Monaliza Omiron, Annie Makapundag and Faye Tulim.

Aquino said that his men, backed up by the local police stormed the drug den in Rosales Street, TV Juliana Extension in Mother Barangay Rosary Heights, Cotabato City shortly after they nabbed Datukali in a buy-bust operation. The other suspects were arrested inside the raided drug dive.

The PDEA chief said that recovered during the operation were around 57 grams of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine’ worth P381,000, assorted drug paraphernalia, six empty vials of Lidocane hydrochloride, or Epinephrine, one caliber .22 revolver loaded with six rounds of live ammunition, one box containing 11 rounds of cal. 22 bullets, one cal. .45 magazine loaded with two live ammunition, 11 rounds of 7.62 mm live ammunition, mobile phones, motorcycles, and the buy-bust money.

The suspects are now facing charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 or The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. Lagantao was also slapped with a separate case for violation of RA 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013, Aquino said.