P2.4-million worth of illegal drugs seized at Davao checkpoint

Robie de Guzman   •   October 16, 2020   •   426

Some P2.4-million worth of illegal drugs were seized by authorities at the Sirawan checkpoint in Toril, the Davao City government said.

In a news release, the city government said the dangerous drugs were confiscated by membes of the Task Force Davao on Monday from a vehicle traveling from Cotabato City.

Task Force Davao Commander Col. Consolito Yecla said one of the two suspects aboard the vehicle was also arrested. He was identified as Ronnie Martinez Jr., a resident of Koronadal City, South Cotabato.

“The suspect was checked at the light vehicle inspection area and requested to open his small sling bag. The duty inspector requested the driver to park at the side, but he drove away from the checkpoint leaving behind his small sling bag at the inspection area,” he said.

Martinez yielded three jumbo size heat-sealed, transparent plastic sachets of suspected shabu with an estimated weight of 150.43 grams valued at P2,406,880.

According to Yecla, the suspects drove away when asked to get off from the vehicle for inspection. The vehicle was later found abandoned in front of Gaisano Grand Mall in Toril.

One of the suspects reportedly rode a tricycle while the other ran towards Barangay Marapangi, he said.

One of them was later caught with the help of some residents who found him drenched after crossing a river. The other suspect appeared to have gotten away but left behind his wallet, which was turned over by the tricycle driver who gave him a ride.

Yecla expressed gratitude to those who helped in the apprehension of the suspect.

“We would like to give thanks and attribute this successful apprehension of the suspect to the tanods and residents of Brgy Marapangi. Indeed, they participated in our anti-terror campaign “May Nakita? Dapat Magsalita,” Yecla said, referring to the city’s public campaign against terrorism.

“We accomplished this without a fatality, and zero human rights violation,” he added.

Davao City records post-holiday surge of COVID-19 cases

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Davao City has recorded a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the city two weeks after the holiday season.

According to Dr. Ashley Lopez, focal person of Davao City’s COVID-19 Task Force, they have recorded over 100 confirmed COIVD-19 cases daily which is almost double the number of daily cases recorded in the last two weeks of December.

“Since we are experiencing the post-holiday surge, by January 7 we reached 131 cases. Most of the following days from January 7 more than 100 cases are recorded daily,” he said.

Davao City recorded 1,144 new cases in the last 14 days according to the January 13 bulletin of the Department of Health (DOH).

Lopez also said the New Year surge would be expected by the third week of January.

He also called on Dabawenyos to be responsible and do their part  in preventing the further spread of the virus by strictly following the minimum health safety protocols. AAC

Galvez wants genome test on Davao City COVID-19 samples to check for new variant

Robie de Guzman   •   January 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The city government of Davao is set to submit specimens of patients with novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Metro Manila to check for the possible presence of new coronavirus variant amid the spike of new cases in the city.

Dr. Ashley Lopez, the city’s COVID-19 focal person, said vaccine czar and National Task Force (NTF) COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez issued the directive on Wednesday after seeing a worrisome uptick in new infections in the city.

Lopez said the specimens of COVID-19 patients recorded this month will be sent to the RITM for a genomic analysis.

While the increase in COVID-19 cases in the city could have been due to a post-holiday surge, he said authorities cannot discount the possibility that a new variant may have entered its borders through the porous backdoor channels in some areas in Mindanao, including Cotabato City, Zamboanga City, Sarangani Province and General Santos City.

Malaysia, the country’s closest neighbor, has already confirmed a case of the new variant.

Lopez said the Task Force Davao and the city’s Public Safety and Security Command Center have implemented stricter restrictions at the borders to regulate the entry of people.

Data from the Department of Health-Davao Region showed that from January 1 to 23, 2021 alone, Davao City recorded 1,222 new infections, which is 33% higher than the number reported from December 19 to 31, 2020. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lucille Lloren)



Zamboanga drug enforcement chief faces raps over positive drug test

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The drug enforcement chief of Zamboanga City Police Office has been relieved from his post after testing positive for narcotics.

PNP Chief Police General Debold Sinas in a statement said that Police Major Jivertson Pelovello has been reassigned to the Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Section of Police Regional Office 9 while undergoing pre-charge investigation and summary dismissal proceedings.

Western Mindanao PNP Regional Director, Police Brigadier General Ronaldo Genaro Ylagan reported that Pelovello has been disarmed of his issued firearms and slapped with corresponding administrative charges.

The PNP Chief reiterated that members of the national police who are using illegal drugs do not deserve to stay in service and should immediately be dismissed.

Pelovello is among the 60 police personnel in Zamboanga City that tested positive for illegal drugs.

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