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Couple nabbed in North Cotabato drug bust
In this image released Monday Feb. 13, 2017, by World Press Photo titled "They Are Slaughtering Us Like Animals" by photographer Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times, which won first prize in the General News, Stories, category of the World Press Photo contest shows inmates watching as drug suspects are processed inside a police station in Manila, Philippines. Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times/World Press Photo via AP
NORTH COTABATO, Philippines - Agents on Tuesday nabbed a couple included in the top five most wanted drug traffickers in North Cotabato and its provincial capital, Kidawapan City.
Juvy Villanueva and live-in partner Renato Padernal were arrested in Ortega Subdivision in Kidapawan City by combined agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and local police personnel.
Cesario Castro, director of PDEA for Region 12, said the operation that resulted in the arrest of the duo was assisted by their colleagues based in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the North Cotabato provincial police.
The suspects yielded P450,000 worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu), a .45 caliber pistol, drug sniffing paraphernalia and devices used in repacking drugs for distribution to their contacts in different barangays in Kidapawan City and North Cotabato’s 17 towns.
Castro said they will charge Villanueva and Padernal, now in the custody of PDEA-12, with violation of the Philippine Dangerous Drugs Act.
He said PDEA is thankful to barangay officials who helped locate the suspects, touted as the most elusive drug dealers in North Cotabato province.