By NITZ ARANCON,
JIGGER J. JERUSALEM
and JOEY NACALABAN
NARCOTICS agents arrested two mothers during separate raids in Balulang yesterday morning.
Wilkins Villanueva, regional director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, identified that suspects as 32-year-old Pidao Macaondot a.k.a. Jalilah Tangco and Jalailah Macapanton, and 35-year-old Divina Sumagayan, both residents of Carinugan, Balulang.
The PDEA said agents seized from Macaondot’s home suspected shabu estimated to be worth P102 thousand while Sumagayan yielded some P68 thousand worth of a similar substance. Confiscated from Sumagayan’s room was P31,900 in cash.
PDEA said the two women would be charged with illegal possession of prohibited drugs.
A PDEA agent, who goes by the nom de guerre “Ben Calibre,” said Macaondot and Sumagayan were Nos. 7 and 9, respectively, in their lost most wanted people in the city.
Macaondot denied she the seized substance belonged to her but she did not say who owned it.
Villanueva said the PDEA carried out the raid on court orders and because his office received credible information about the drug trade in the area.
He said the suspects didn’t operate a drug den but drug users go to them just to buy.
Villanueva said the PDEA had subjected Macaondot to surveillance for months but the operations were disrupted because she returned to Marawi during the election period.
Villanueva said the suspects’ sources of illegal drugs were Marawi and its nearby towns.
Macaondot had a Pantawid Pampamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiary card. She used the alias “Jalilah Tangco” in a taxpayer’s identification card, and.
The search warrant issued by a court had her name as Pidao Itomama.
Macaondot is said to be a businesswoman although it was not immediately known how she became a 4Ps beneficiary despite her income.
Sumagayan, meanwhile, was reported to be engaged in a lending business.
Oliver Inodeo, spokesman of the social welfare department for the 4Ps program here, said he was saddened over reports that one of of the suspects was apparently a 4Ps beneficiary.
He said social workers have been telling the program’s beneficiaries not to engage in illegal activities through family development sessions.
“It is unfortunate that this happened but at the same time, this will serve as a warning to 4Ps members that there will be consequences if they are involved in these illegal activities,” Inodeo said. “It has always been part of our campaign to remind our beneficiaries to stay away from these acts as we are even encouraging active citizenship to our members.”
Inodeo said the cash grant would likely be transferred to Macaondot’s eldest child because the suspect can no longer avail of the grant.