ORMOC CITY– Operatives of the Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit of Leyte Provincial Police Office and the Station Drug Enforcement Team (SDET) made a significant recovery of suspected shabu during a buy-bust operation at around 5:50 am on Tuesday (June 18) in Barangay Cabalquinto, Calubian, and Leyte.

Leyte Provincial Police Office Director PCOL Dionisio DC Apas identified the suspects as: Arnel Perpetua, 42, married, self-employed, and the alleged maintainer of the drug den, who managed to elude arrest; Ma. Fe Lirios, 28, single, jobless; Emy Cabalhin, 42, married, self-employed; Gerard Hilboya, 41, self-employed, live-in partner; and Niel Torlao, 51, married, self-employed.

All suspects are residents of Brgy. Cabalquinto. The police recovered approximately six grams of suspected shabu from them.

Perpetua was the primary target of the operation. One sachet of shabu was procured from him by an operative for P500.

Upon realizing he was dealing with a policeman, Perpetua fled, leaving behind his cohorts and visitor buyers, who were subsequently arrested.

During the body search, conducted in the presence of witnesses authorized by law, the police recovered 10 more sachets of shabu, totaling seven grams.

Seven of these sachets were found on Torlao.

Additionally, the police discovered a plastic bag with Chinese characters containing a block of shabu weighing approximately one kilogram, with an estimated street value of P6.8 million.

Also confiscated were a P500 bill used in the operation, a short-caliber revolver without markings or serial numbers, a Vivo cellphone, and several drug paraphernalia.

The suspects were informed of the nature of their arrest and apprised of their constitutional rights through the Miranda Doctrine in a language they understood.

Charges for violations of Sections 5 (selling illegal drugs) and 11 (possession of illegal drugs) of Article II of RA 9165, the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, and violations of RA 10591, the Comprehensive Law against Illegal Possession of Firearms, Ammunitions, and Explosives, will be filed against the four arrested suspects and Perpetua, who is still at large. (ROBERT DEJON/LIZBETH ANN A.ABELLA)