January 29, 2023

A total of P4.3 million marijuana were seized from two suspects from Manila, who managed to pass through numerous checkpoints and tried to smuggle the contraband out of Tinglayan, Kalinga on a private vehicle on May 19.

The suspects, identified as Rich Vandamme Alegre Armoreda and Martin Serrano, were onboard a Mitsubishi Adventure when they were flagged by the police at Sitio Mamaga in Barangay Bugnay.

Upon inspection, the police saw the sacks at the back of the passenger seat prompting them to investigate further. This resulted in the discovery of 36 pieces of marijuana dried stalks and leaves wrapped with transparent plastic placed in sacks estimated to be worth P4.32 million. Authorities also confiscated the suspects’ mobile phones. 

Police Regional Office-Cordillera Information Officer, Maj. Carol Lacuata, reported the suspects were able to pass through police checkpoints by presenting documents proving that they authorized persons outside of residences (APORs).

Lacuata said the suspects even posted a logo of a Manila-based security and detective agency at the rear windshield of the vehicle.

PRO-COR is coordinating with the security agency to check the veracity of the documents the suspects presented in the various checkpoints.

PRO-Cor also conducted other anti-illegal drugs operation resulting in the arrest of six drug personalities who were caught in various buy-bust operations.

In Benguet, suspected drug peddler Jereliniel dela Cruz Cabungkal was apprehended in Mamaga, Balili in La Trinidad while Leonard Killi Tauli was caught in Poblacion, Tuba.

Confiscated from them were two sachets of suspected shabu; one Cloudfone touchscreen cellular phone; Samsung touch screen cellular phone; P1,000 buy-bust money; and P3,000 boodle money.

The other suspects arrested for alleged drug pushing were Maricel Porcioncula, Shannen Antonio, Joel Bautista, and Angelito Banate, who were nabbed in Purok Mangitit, Camp 7, Baguio City.

Operatives also seized five sachets containing suspected shabu; P8,000 buy-bust money; one android cellphone; and various drug paraphernalia from the suspects.

All eight suspects are facing charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drug Act of 2002.

PRO-Cor Director, B/Gen. R’win Pagkalinawan, said the arrest of the suspects will contribute to the reduction of drug supply in the region. – Ofelia C. Empian