By JOEY NACALABAN
and NITZ ARANCON
AUTHORITIES arrested a fireman and four other drug suspects during a string of buy-and-bust operations in Opol town in Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro since Tuesday.
Police identified the suspects as fireman Charlex Khim Tabamo, 28, of Patag, this city; Richard Paul Moralda 31, of Macasandig; Khalid Pendatun, 41, of Yale Street, Celtran Village, Tubod, Iligan City; Shilrie Orio, 18, of 8th and 21st streets, Nazareth; and Reygee Acapulco, 32, of Bagacay, Ozamiz City.
Senior Insp. Dennis Ruel Flores, Opol police chief, said the 28-year old Tabamo holds the rank of Fire Officer 1 at the Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) and has been with the fire station in Cogon, this city, for two years.
Tabamo, according to Flores, was caught with a sachet of suspected shabu and a P500-marked money.
He was arrested while he was at the San Pedro Beach Resort in Tabok, Opol town by members of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) under director Wilkins Villanueva, the Opol police, and the police’s Drug Enforcement Unit in Misamis Oriental.
The supect denied he owned the suspected shabu, maintaining that he was merely at the beach resort to meet a friend. He said he was surprised that he was accused of having shabu.
Tabamo however admitted that he used to be a drug user, adding that he stopped the vice a year ago.
The fireman was brought to the Opol police station for detention while charges are being prepared against him.
Meanwhile, authorities arrested four other suspects — Moralda, Pendatun, Orio, and Acapulco — during separate buy-and-bust operations in the city Tuesday night and past midnight yesterday.
Senior Insp. Denver Vergara, chief of the Carmen police, said Moralda was arrested at around 8:20 pm in Nazareth while Pendatun was caught at around 10 pm at the capitol grounds. He said Orio was arrested at around 10:25 pm on Luna Street in Barangay 27 while Acapulco was caught at around 1:05 am yesterday in San Roque, Lapasan.
Police said Acapulco was caught with P3 thousand worth of suspected shabu and P6 thousand worth of suspected shabu from Pendatun and the money allegedly used in the buy-and-bust operations.
Moralda and Orio allegedly yielded a sachet of suspected shabu each, according to the police.
Charges were also being prepared against the suspects at presstime.