5 suspected drug pushers fall in North Cotabato raid

Joint operatives of the North Cotabato Police Provincial Office, Matalam police station and the Army’s 7th Infantry Battalion nabbed here five suspected drug pushers in a “One time, Big time” operation before dawn Thursday.

Chief Inspector Sunny Leoncito, Matalam police chief, said the operating team, armed with search warrants, swooped down on seven houses in a secluded portion of Barangay Kilada and arrested the suspects at around 5 a.m.

Arrested were Nelie Galvez and Ralph Sosmena, both from Purok Rosal, and Mastura Silongan, Jessie Toranio and Kasanudin Colin, all residents of Barangay Poblacion.

Three other persons who are also allegedly engaged in illegal drugs and the subject of search warrants managed to evade the raiding team.

Leoncito identified them as Che-Che Aquino, Tata Santillan and Pokwang Toranio.

The police recovered 20 sachets of suspected shabu and an unlicensed cal. 38 revolver from the arrested suspects.

Leoncito said all the arrested suspects and those who managed to flee were all drug personalities who voluntarily showed up last year before the police office and vowed to reform.

“They surrender to us last year but ignored their commitment to stop using illegal drugs,” Leoncito said, adding “it was the reason why we applied for search warrants.”

According to Leoncito, the operation was a result of the cooperation of the community with the police in preventing illegal drugs in the locality.

He said the suspects belonged to a cell under a big time drug syndicate operating in North Cotabato and Maguindanao.

Charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 have been filed against the suspects, who are now detained at the Matalam police lock-up cell.