Regional agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency scored a major coup when they arrested on Tuesday a practicing surgeon and an OIC provincial environment natural resources officer after they were caught in the midst of a buy-bust operation against illegal drugs in Buhangin, Davao City.
PDEA OIC regional director Naravy D. Duquiatan, who personally led the buy-bust operation, identified the arrested physician as one Stephen So Tay, 56 years old, and a resident of No. 3 Marigold Street in Buhangin’s San Pedro Village. Tay, a medical surgeon, was caught in the act of selling suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu inside his residence.
Tay’s companion who was also arrested was identified as one Benjamin J. Medel, 52, an OIC provincial environment officer of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Region 5.
Medel, a resident of Teachers Village in Legaspi City was caught in the act of using illegal drugs during the buy-bust operation.
“The PDEA would like to acknowledge the help of the community for the successful apprehension of drug perpetrators,” said Duguiatan. “They will not be put to justice, if it is not for the people’s continued vigilance and cooperation.”
The suspects are now detained at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Regional Office XI detention facility.
Tay was arrested after selling one sachet of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride commonly known as “shabu” worth P1,000.00 to an informant.
More or less eight grams of suspected shabu with a street value of P96,000.00, assorted drug paraphernalia and the P1,000.00 buy-bust marked money bill and one fragmentation grenade were also recovered by the PDEA Agents from Tay’s residence.
The ISUZU DMAX with plate number XLK 838 believed used in his illegal drug activities was also impounded by the operatives.
The seized suspected illegal drugs were submitted to the laboratory service of the PDEA for qualitative and quantitative examination.
Cases for violation of Section 5, Section 11, Section 12 and Section 15, Article II of Republic Act 9165 otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and Republic Act 9516 are being prepared against them.
Duquiatan said that if Medel is eventually found guilty, the maximum penalty of the unlawful act shall be imposed, in addition to absolute perpetual disqualification from any public office as mandated in Article II, Section 28 (Criminal Liability of Government Officials and Employees) of Republic Act 9165. The PDEA official said the assistance of the community is a positive indication that it is gaining headway as the lead agency in the anti-drug campaign nationwide. She said her office would welcome the assistance of anyone who would provide information on people engaged in illegal drug activities, “so we could help the government attain its vision for a drug-free Philippines.”