2 drug suspects fall in buy-bust ops in Cavite

Robie de Guzman   •   July 5, 2019   •   1236

Two suspected drug peddlers were arrested by authorities in a buy-bust operation conducted in Cavite on Thursday night (July 4).

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) identified the suspects as Ato Labing Kasim, 30 and Jubaire Mohammad Kitab, 21.

PDEA said that Kasim and Kitab are allegedly linked to a Chinese drug lord, currently detained at the New Bilibid Prisons, who operates in parts of Metro Manila, Tacloban and Cavite. The alleged drug lord is also said to be operating in Mindanao with the help of a former mayor.

“Itong si Ato Kasim, may direct link kay Butokan Kendong na taga-Cotabato. Ito naman si Botokan Kendong, may direct link kay Montaser Sabal na amo din nito na former Mayor ng Talitay, Magindanao,” said Levi Ortiz, PDEA Special Enforcement Service Director III.

“Now these people, ang drugs kinukuha nila sa Chinese source na naka-detain ngayon sa Muntinlupa,” Ortiz added.

Recovered from the suspects were around one kilogram of shabu (crystal meth), which is estimated to worth nearly P7 million, and two vehicles allegedly used for drug transactions.

The suspects have denied the allegations.

“Hindi po namin kilala ‘yan, si Montaser Sabal,” Kasim said.

“Hindi ko po alam na mayroon pong droga sa ilalim ng upuan po ng sasakyan kasi ‘pag pinagpa-drive po ako, binibigyan ako P500 pamasahe pauwi,” Kitab said.

PDEA said the two suspects will face charges for violation of Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. (with details from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Over P2.5-B worth of shabu seized in Cavite warehouse

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 12, 2020

The Philippine National Police (PNP) seized P2.5 billion worth of shabu at a warehouse in General Trias, Cavite on Thursday (June 11) during a buy-bust operation.

The PNP’s Drug Enforcement Group (PNP-DEG) has seized over 374 kilograms of shabu that were hidden inside tea packaging. Authorities also arrested Muad Abedin and wife Maycy Naol Abedin.

PNP-DEG Director PBGen. Romeo Caramat Jr. said the suspect is related to a local government official in Southern Mindanao.

“[He is a] nephew of a high ranking government official, sabihin na nating (let’s just say) vice mayor. They are a well-known drug personality operating in Mindanao,” he said.

Authorities have been conducting surveillance in the area for six months which is allegedly operated by a drug syndicate called ‘Mindanao Group’.

“Allegedly itong grupong ito ay nagbebenta ng shabu online, so we were able to penetrate iyong account nila so nalaman namin ang mga transaksyon nila pati ang mga pino-post nila and then kami nagkaroon ng lead kung paano i-surveillance itong mga nahuli nating suspek (This group allegedly sells shabu online. So we were able to penetrate their account and we discovered their transactions as well as their posts. We found a lead on how to conduct a surveillance on the arrested suspects),” Caramat said.

Muad denied the allegations and insisted that they were only tasked to care for the place during community quarantine— but his wife said otherwise.

Maycy said her husband knew what was inside the tea packaging and they were paid P10,000 per bag by a certain Chinese national.

“Chinese pero hindi ko nakikita iyong mukha, naririnig ko lang pero wala akong nakita (He is Chinese but I did not see his face, I only heard his voice),” she said.

The suspects will face charges for violation of Section 5 and Section 11 of the Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Lacson backs appointment of Villanueva as PDEA chief

Robie de Guzman   •   May 27, 2020

Senator Panfilo Lacson

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday lauded the appointment of Wilkins Villanueva as the new director general of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

In a statement, Lacson described Villanueva as a “good and professional officer who is fit for the job,” and noted his “long career in drug enforcement.”

“The President couldn’t have appointed a more qualified head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, having served our country for nearly 20 years with the Philippine National Police Narcotics Group and with the PDEA,” he said.

Lacson, a former national police chief, expressed confidence that Villanueva can handle his task of going after drug suspects amid challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis.

“With the challenge of going after drug personalities amid the new normal posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, he indeed has his work cut out for him,” he said.

“I look forward to working with him, being the Senate Finance Subcommittee Chair and Sponsor of the PDEA and Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) budgets, among others,” he added.

Villanueva will take over the post previously held by Aaron Aquino, who was assigned by President Rodrigo Duterte to lead the Clark International Airport.

Prior to his designation to PDEA’s top post, Villanueva led the PDEA Northern Mindanao.

Wilkins Villanueva is new PDEA Director General

Marje Pelayo   •   May 27, 2020

Wilkins Villanueva

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Wilkins Villanueva as the new director general of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), replacing the agency’s outgoing chief Aaron Aquino.

Villanueva, who was assigned as PDEA Region 10 director prior to this appointment, served as the agency’s National Capital Region (NCR) chief.

He also served as head of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) intelligence and investigation service.

In his social post, Villanueva expressed his gratitude to the President for trusting him to lead the country’s war on drugs.

“I will never fail you, Mr. President!” he wrote.

He also thanked Senator Bong Go and former PNP Chief Senator Ronald dela Rosa for the encouragement and support. 

Meanwhile, there was no mention of the nature of Aquino’s departure from the agency.

Nonetheless, he thanked President Duterte for the opportunity to serve.

“I sincerely thank President Rodrigo Duterte for his trust and confidence and for giving me the opportunity to serve our people and his administration,” Aquino said.

Duterte appointed Aquino to PDEA in August 2017.

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