Also a former PDEA employee
TACLOBAN CITY- A son of a former town mayor in Leyte was recently arrested by authorities during a buy-bust operation that resulted in the seizure of methamphetamine worth P2.5 million.
Arrested was Julius Katangkatang, 35, a former employee of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) during the August 29 operation outside a hotel in the city at about 8:45 in the evening.
Katangkatang, who went AWOL (absence without leave) as chief of PDEA-8’ dangerous drugs regulatory office, is the son of former Jaro, Leyte mayor, Floro Katangkatang, Sr.
His elder brother, Floro Jr., works as PDEA agent.
Alex Tablado, chief operation officer of PDEA, said that a member of the Tacloban City Police Office acted as buyer-poseur during the anti-drug operation against Katangkatang at Barangay 33, this city.
“We have to use a city police as the buyer. Otherwise, the transaction would not prosper considering that he (Katangkatang) knew us,” Tablado said.
Seized from the suspect were 300 grams of methamphetamine estimated with a street value of P2.5 million, the biggest haul so far for this year of anti-illegal drug operations in Eastern Visayas.
Also confiscated from Katangkatang was the marked money of P10,000.
The suspect is now detained at the Tacloban City Police and charged with selling and possession of prohibited drugs.
Meantime, Tablado clarified that the father of the suspect and his elder brother are not connected to any illegal drug activity.
“We are also conducting our investigation as to where he sourced the prohibited drug and when he exactly started this illegal activity,” he said.
Katangkatang, who worked with PDEA for seven years, went AWOL last February of this year and was dropped from its roll last August 1.
Since the start of the year, PDEA was able to seize 410 grams of shabu valued at P2 million and arrested 726 people.
(JOEY A.GABIETA/JAZMIN BONIFACIO)