By Ben Serrano,
BUTUAN City — Operatives of the Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Caraga regional office headed by acting regional director Gilbert Buenafe arrested two barangay chairmen in Madrid, Surigao del Sur.
An official communiqué to PDEA Director General Isidro U. Lapeña signed by Buenafe reports the two arrested barangay chairmen were identified as Arnel U. Mission of Barangay Union and Rejh Marseille Estrada of Barangay Magsaysay.
Seized from each of them were five grams of suspected shabu, contained in 13 pieces of sachets from Estrada and Mission.
Seized illegal drugs from the two village chiefs were estimated to worth a total of P110,000, the communiqué reads.
In an exclusive interview, Buenafe said the two village chiefs are categorized as high-value targets level 2 for illegal drugs shabu pushing and have been under surveillance for three months.
Until on Feb. 20, Cantilan, Surigao del Sur RTC Branch 41 Presiding Judge Catalina Shineta Tare-Palacio issued separate search warrants for each of the two barangay chairmen.
“The arrest of the two completes our detention cell here. We have a vice mayor, councilor, barangay kagawad, barangay chairmen. Pwede na sila mag-session sa loob. We have also inside a government official who is the Philippine Coconut Authority provincial manager of Surigao del Norte, a government personnel, and a barangay electrician arrested,” Buenafe told Gold Star Daily.
Last Jan. 31, Buenafe and his men arrested PCA provincial manager for Surigao del Norte Joseph Cadavis in his residence in Tubod, Surigao del Norte, .
Seized from the possession of Cadavis were 10 grams of suspected shabu estimated to worth P118,000.
On Jan. 28, Barangay Chairman Felisberto Azarcon Dumadag III of Barangay Poblacion, Tubod, Surigao del Norte was also arrested by PDEA Caraga regional office operatives.
According to Buenafe, Dumadag was able to post bail for his temporary liberty since the illegal drugs seized from him was below five grams which falls under the bailable category.
On Jan. 25, former Esperanza, Agusan del Sur Vice Mayor and currently Esperanza, Agusan del Sur Municipal Councilor Apolonio V. Layugan, Sr. was also arrested. Seized from Layugan were 5.5 grams of suspected shabu.