3 women with four minors yield P1.3-M shabu in Cotabato City buy-bust

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COTABATO CITY – Three women, with four minor children in tow, were arrested by anti-narcotics operatives after they handed over 200 grams of shabu to a poseur-buyer during a drug buy-bust operation here Wednesday morning.

Director Juvenal Azurin of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PDEA-BARMM) identified the suspects as Raihana M. Macalimpas, Malvina M. Duluan, and Dacel Duluan, all of Pigcawayan town, North Cotabato. 

The PDEA-BARMM agents were assisted by operatives from the Cotabato City Police Office and the Army’s Special Force Battalion during the 10 a.m. buy-bust in front of the Cotabato City Barter Trade Center, a few meters away from the main gate of the BARMM compound along Gov. Gutierrez Avenue here.

Seized from the suspects were some 200 grams (worth P1.3-M of suspected shabu, mobile phones used in illegal transactions, and the “boodle money” or fake PHP1,000 bills used by poseur-buyer during the exchange.

“The stuff was hidden in a mosquito repellent box placed inside a black shoulder bag,” Azurin said. He said the suspects did not resist but denied they were drug peddlers.

One of the suspects told reporters that someone asked them to bring the black bag to the barter center where another man will fetch it. In return, the women claimed they and the four children will be treated to a sumptuous lunch in a nearby fast-food chain.

“The PDEA agents, however, did not buy the suspects’ statement,” Azurin said.

The husband of Mamalangkas, Tato Mamalangkas, was arrested by PDEA agents in Pigcawayan, North Cotabato last year for possession of about a kilo of shabu. He is currently detained at the Cotabato provincial jail.

The three suspects, currently detained at the PDEA-BARMM custodial facility in this city, are now facing charges for violation of RA 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002), while the children were turned over to the city social welfare office for safekeeping. (PNA)

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