By JOEY NACALABAN
and NITZ ARANCON
THE imam arrested on Tuesday by narcotics agents during a raid in Barra, Macabalan, won’t even touch a cigarette because he saw these as forbidden by his religion.
This was the claim of Imam Hadji Rasol Noraida Sarip’s wife Haina who accused the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency of planting shabu in their house during the morning raid.
The PDEA charged Sarip with illegal possession of drugs, firearms and ammunition before the City Prosecutor’s Office yesterday. PDEA accused Sarip of being a “big-time shabu supplier” in the city.
No bailbond was recommended.
The PDEA held Sarip at its detention cell for the second day yesterday, and the suspect is scheduled to be brought to the city jail in Lumbia today.
The 60-year old Sarip has maintained his innocence even as he strongly denied that the suspected shabu seized from his house was his. He said he would never keep illegal drugs given that this was against his religious convictions.
His wife Haina asserted that members of the raiding team planted sachets of shabu in order to justify the arrest of her husband.
Haina maintained that her husband is an innocent man, pointing out that he has been serving as an imam.
She said her husband won’t even touch a stick of cigarette because, like illegal drugs, there is a fatwa (ruling) against it, and it is considered haram (fobidden).
“Bisan pa mangamatay among tibook pamilya dili mahitabo nga mamaligya mig makadaut nga druga,” Haina said.
Sarip was arrested during the raid carried out by PDEA and City Drug Enforcement Unit members based on a search warrant. Inside, they allegedly found 35 grams of suspected shabu with an estimated street value of P175 thousand, a 9 mm pistol, some cash, and pieces of jewelry.
Wilkins Villanueva, PDEA regional director, accused Sarip of being a “big-time shabu supplier” in the city. He said authorities were sure because they subjected Sarip to about a year of surveillance operations.
Sarip admitted that the pistol seized by authorities was his but explained that his license for it was supposed to be renewed this month.