PDEA nabs DOH doctor, 6 others in drug buy-bust

Robie de Guzman   •   February 28, 2019   •   9680

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Thursday nabbed a medical officer of the Department of Health (DOH) and six others in a buy-bust operation conducted at a Condominium unit in Mandaluyong.

In a report on UNTV News and Rescue’s Ito Ang Balita by JL Asayo, PDEA identified the suspects as licensed physician Dr. Vanjoe de Guzman, Keanu Andrea Flores, Mark Echauz, Gerald Fajardo, Michael Tan and an alias Boy Kulot.

Authorities recovered from the suspects six sachets of suspected shabu with an estimated street value of P340,000 and several bottles containing suspected liquid ecstasy approximately worth P30,000; drug paraphernalia, marked money and a mobile phone.

PDEA agents first arrested De Guzman, Flores and Echauz when they conducted an operation around 12 midnight at the condominium unit turned drug den, allegedly operated by De Guzman.

De Guzman denied the accusation.

“So tingnan niyo, parang kahihiyan sa work ko. I’m from the government, government employee ako tapos [I] will do that, parang… uhm I’m a user, nag-use po ako pero I don’t,” de Guzman said.

DOH said in a statement that De Guzman has been a regular employee since 2015. However, he has not been coming to work since November 2018 despite orders to report to the office.

“Dr. Vanjoe de Guzman is a regular DOH employee from February 2015, however, he has been on AWOL (Absence Without Leave) status since November 26, 2018. Despite written directives to report immediately to the office, Dr. de Guzman has failed to comply. This has prompted for DOH-MMCHD to issue an Order of Separation and commence disciplinary proceedings, in consultation with the Civil Service Commission, for his eventual dismissal from the service,” DOH said.

The other three suspects were nabbed when they showed up at the condo unit during a follow-up operation when PDEA agents contacted them using the seized mobile phone. The three were accused of peddling illegal drugs.

“Oo, inaamin ko gumagamit po ako pero not palagi po (anong trabaho mo?) nagpa-part time po ako [as an] ambassador sa isang club po and then nag-freelance model, talent/extra sa mga tapings,” Flores, a college student, admitted when asked about her involvement in the pot session.

PDEA Agent Winifredo Alagabia Jr. told reporters after the operation what they have recovered from the suspects.

“May nakuha tayong pictures, may mga hubo’t hubad na tao sa cellphone. So, may mga possibility na after using the drugs, nag o-orgy na sila, nag se-sexual orgy na sila. So, maliban sa delikado na ma-overdose, baka delikado din sa spread ng HIV yung ginagawa nila,”

Suspects are detained at PDEA main office for violating the Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. – Robie de Guzman

Two suspects nabbed for selling injectable shabu online

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 20, 2020

Two men were arrested by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) after they were caught selling illegal drugs in Mandaluyong City on Thursday (February 20).

A member of PDEA posed as a buyer and, after confirming the illegal activity, authorities arrested Mark Kenneth San Juan and Jeffrey Saclao.

Authorities seized 26 syringes of suspected liquid shabu with an estimate of P52,000. They also seized one sachet of suspected shabu worth around P13,600.

According to PDEA Spokesperson Derrick Carreon, the suspects are also selling drugs online based on their social media accounts.

Carreon also said the suspects target the youth using social media. He also warned about the negative effects of using drugs.

“So, maaari po talagang mangyari sa inyo ang mga hindi kanais-nais na mga bagay apart from the fact na it leads to (Bad things can happen to you apart from the fact that it leads to) the spread of several infectious diseases,” he said.

PDEA has taken custody of the two suspects and will face charges for violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. —AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Prosperity Ball raises funds to help Taal evacuees, female drug surrenderers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 28, 2020

A group of local entrepreneurs held the 2020 Prosperity Ball to help raise funds for Taal eruption evacuees and female drug surrenderers.

The said event held at Okada Manila on Friday (January 24) was attended by famous personalities, entrepreneurs, and private individuals.

Event organizer Dr. Rhoda Espino said Taal evacuees are in need of medical attention.

She said they will coordinate with local government units (LGUs) to monitor the situation in every evacuation center.

“We will be studying what they need. I think right now they are suffering from diarrhea and skin problems,” she said.

Another beneficiary of the event are the female drug surrenderers temporarily residing at Balay Silangan, the community-based reformation program of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority (PDEA).

PDEA Dir. Gen. Aaron Aquino, one of the guests in the said event, raised the issue of the lack of livelihood programs for female drug surrenderers. He also called on LGUs to provide jobs to female surrenderers who graduated in PDEA’s Balay Silangan program.

“It’s important na pagka-graduate ng drug surenderer, especially ng mga kababaihan, dapat may trabaho sila (when they graduate they should immediately have jobs, especially the women). Dapat may pagkakakitaan sila (They should have a livelihood). Otherwise if they do not earn anything they will go back to their old ways. Babalik at babalik sa dati nilang bisyo, (They would keep returning to their old vices),” he said.

Espino also said they will continue to raise funds for PDEA’s Balay Silangan program.

“We want to create livelihood programs especially for the female surrenderers so they would have a better life and they won’t go back to the drug trade,” Espino said.

The event sold designer clothes, wines, and travel tickets, the proceeds of which will go to the Taal victims and the purchase of sewing machines for the female drug surrenderers under the Balay Silangan program.

PNP reiterates drug war successful, Robredo’s figures ‘totally wrong’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 7, 2020

The Philippine National Police (PNP) reiterated that the government’s war on drugs is a success, contrary to the figures reported by Vice President Leni Robredo.

PNP Officer-in-Charge Archie Gamboa said the campaign against illegal drugs was one hundred percent successful; this was after Robredo called the drug war unsuccessful during her report on Monday (January 6).

“Whether her numbers are merely an estimate or the exact value, in any case, the figure derived is totally wrong,” Gamboa said.

Gamboa also said that since 2016, they already destroyed 14 clandestine drug laboratories and 419 drugs dens.

The PNP had also confiscated around P40.39 billion worth of illegal drugs. These include 5.1 tons of shabu, 2.3 tons of marijuana, 500 kilos of cocaine, and over 42,000 pieces of the party drug, ecstasy.

Authorities have also arrested 220,728 individuals in 2016, with 8,185 high value targets.

Gamboa also reported that 5,552 drug personalities and 55 policemen were killed during illegal drug operations. Meanwhile, a total of 16,706 barangays are drug-free.

Gamboa said Robredo’s appreciation of statistics in her report was not mathematically acceptable. He also said that her 18 days as the co-chairman in the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) was not enough for her to provide estimates of the totality of the illegal drug campaign.

“Ang ginawa niya kin-quote niya iyong PDEG (What she did was, she quoted the PDEG) [Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group] that there are three tons of consumption per week for the drug problem of the Philippines and then in-equate niya ito sa drug recovered (then she equated it with the drugs recovered),” he said.

“Iyong appreciation niya doon sa statistics na iyon is wrong. Kung ganiyan ang appreciation niya (Her appreciation of the statistics is wrong. If that is her appreciation) it’s quite risky because if you have little knowledge that you present it could be very risky,” Gamboa added.

Meanwhile, the PNP official said despite the success of the government’s drug war, regional directors and head of national support units are doubling their efforts in the government’s war on drugs, terrorism, criminality, and corruption.—AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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