December 4, 2022

A tourist from Metro Manila was arrested by policemen in Mountain Province for attempting to transport over P1.5 million worth of marijuana bricks over the weekend.

Capt. Marnie Abellanida, information officer of the Police Regional Office-Cordillera (PROCor), identified the suspect as Rosendo Don Piquero Tadeo, 24, a resident of Quiapo, Manila.

Found in the suspect’s bags were 14 bricks of dried marijuana leaves weighing more or less 13.021 kilograms with a standard drug price of P1,562,520.

According to Abellanida, the suspect was arrested after alighting from a bus that originated from Kalinga bound for Bontoc, Mountain Province on April 17.

Abellanida said based on the original report submitted to the regional office, the contraband was first spotted by intelligence operatives at a checkpoint in Ampawilen, Poblacion, Sadanga, Mountain Province.

He said operatives of the Sadanga municipal police station secretly followed the bus to identify the owner of the bags and coordinated with the chief of police of Bontoc and the Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit, also based in Bontoc.

Upon the arrival of the bus at Poblacion, Bontoc, the suspect picked up the bags and tried to avoid the police officers manning the PNP assistance desk, which prompted the operatives to accost him.

Abellanida said in the past several other tourists attempted to sneak in illegal drugs from Kalinga or other parts of the region but ended up getting arrested.

“There are many who support the police in its campaign against illegal drugs so we hope they will not try transport because they will surely be caught,” Abellanida said in a phone interview.

He added many tourists from different regions are currently detained in Cordillera jails after they were caught for the illegal transport of marijuana. – PNA