By NITZ ARANCON
and JOEY NACALABAN
POLICE yesterday pressed charges against a lawyer arrested in an anti-narcotics operation in downtown Cagayan de Oro on Thursday night.
Authorities accused the lawyer, 39-year-old Marlon Yap of Centrio Towers on Corrales Avenue, of possession and selling of shabu.
Yap maintained his innocence even as he denied the accusation. He claimed he was merely walking towards a restaurant when police officers suddenly pounced on him.
Senior Insp. Excyllo Alcantara, chief of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office’s City Drug Enforcement Unit, said Yap was arrested during a buy-and-bust operation at the corner of Velez and Mabini streets in Barangay 29.
He alleged that the lawyer sold suspected shabu to a police agent who posed as a buyer.
Alcantara alleged that Yap has been in the police’s drug watch list and that the lawyer has been considered as a “high-value target.”
SPO2 Alphi Sabadoquia said Yap was caught with five grams of suspected shabu in three sachets with an estimated street value of P35 thousand.
He also claimed to have confiscated from the lawyer a P500-marked money and a cellphone which investigators are examining.
Alcantara said the inventory of the pieces of evidence taken from Yap was witnessed by Barangay 29 councilor Concepcion Ravalo.
Yap, who was detained at Maharlika police headquarters, strongly denied the accusations, implying that the police planted the evidence against him.
“Wala ko sukad mag gamit anang druga kay nasayud ko nga supak nas balaod. Abogado gud ko,” said Yap, adding that he has even been lawyering for policemen charged with various offenses.
He claimed he was merely going to buy something from a restaurant when the suddenly arrested him.
“Ma-o tong nagsinggita ko didto aron ma-alarma ang mga tawo,” Yap said.
But when asked if the pieces of evidence were planted, Yap replied: “Most probably.”
He said he would ask for copies of surveillance camera recordings from establishments in the area in the hope of strengthening his defense and in proving his innocence.