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P1-million shabu seized, 21 drug traffickers nabbed in North Cotabato
Two followers of notorious drug peddler Mangiging Pandian, who was also arrested along with his 10 followers, in Pikit town in North Cotabato province. Philstar.com/John Unson, File photo
NORTH COTABATO, Philippines - Authorities arrested on Thursday 21 members of a large drug ring in North Cotabato and seized from them P1 million worth of shabu, firearms and a dozen stolen motorcycles.
The suspects were cornered one after another in separate operations by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), personnel of the Army’s 7th Infantry Battalion and the North Cotabato provincial police in Krislam District in Kabacan town in North Cotabato.
Superintendent Romeo Galgo Jr., spokesman of the Police Regional Office-12, said the separate drug busts were covered by 27 warrants issued by local courts.
“The joint police-Army-PDEA operations that resulted to the arrest of the suspects were carried out with the help of local officials in Kabacan and vigilant barangay leaders there,” Galgo said.
Wanted drug peddlers Omar Udac Abdullah, Hadi Maulana Midtimbang, Anna Guiamandan Dinanalao, Alimar Salanduyan Pigcaulan, Ming Mia Gasi, Ebrahim Radsak Abo, Basir Padal Mohamad, Aludin Tabayag Gakit, Ali Badal Abo, Ebrahim Muat Guiamadil, Abdul Gakit Badal were immediately arrested in the initial raids that commenced early Thursday.
Eleven more - Victor Sankay Beldik, Zainoden Edem Dayato, Noraisa Beldik Ebrahim, Lani Veldik Dayato, Bai Suelo Alon, Tobias Danglit, Marcialo Maligyan Suelo, Jorey Kamisec Suelo, Jerry Buada Cabalo, Baby Boy Cabalo and Allan Tanoyan Kabalu - were nabbed in subsequent manhunts in the area.
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Galgo said 12 stolen motorcycles were also seized from the suspects, which they used in distributing shabu to contacts in different barangays in Kabacan and nearby towns in North Cotabato and in Maguindanao.
Local officials confirmed on Friday that the arrested drug traffickers were together in what could be the largest drug ring in the northernmost part of North Cotabato.
Many of the arrested suspects also doubled as “guns-for-hire” and motorcycle thieves, according to members of the Kabacan municipal peace and order council.
Galgo said the raids that resulted in their arrest was led by North Cotabato’s police director, Senior Superintendent Emmanuel Peralta, officials of PDEA in Region 12, and the chief of the Kabacan municipal police, Senior Inspector Ronnie Cordero.
“Credit also has to go to the Army’s 602nd Brigade and its component-unit, the 7th Infantry Battalion,” Galgo said.