LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Two notorious drug traders in this capital town were arrested while two minors were rescued from their custody during a massive anti-drug operation launched by police operatives and anti-narcotics agents in different areas here Wednesday night.
Chief Inspector Radino Belly, chief of the La Trinidad Municipal Police Station, identified the arrested drug traders as Darwin Lang-odan Santiago, 49, a vegetable trader from Buguias, Benguet but presently resident at JC-131 Pico, La Trinidad, Benguet and Jeffrey Laurista Gramatica, 23, single, a helper from Silay City, Negros Occidental but temporarily residing at FA-037L Mamaga, Balili, La Trinidad, Benguet.
Initial police investigation showed the mother of a minor requested the assistance of the police after her daughter was reportedly living with Gramatica in a rented room in Balili, thus, a subsequent rescue operation was launched that led to the recovery of the victim and the arrest of Gramatica for possession of one heat sealed sachet containing suspected shabu, various drug paraphernalia and cash amounting to P500.
In the course of the interview, the rescued minor informed investigators that she was asked to buy shabu from a house in Pico which turned out to be the rented room of Santiago, thus, a separate operation was undertaken in the aforesaid address.
Upon arrival in the area, the police personnel found out that the room was locked but they were able to see a minor female inside that prompted them to forcibly open the door.
The suspect tried to elude arrest but he was cornered inside the comfort room of the house.
Confiscated from Santiago were undetermined quantity of illegal drugs (Shabu), while recovered from his room were various drugs paraphernalia and cash amounting to P20, 500.
Charges of violation of the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Law and qualified seduction in relation to RA 7610 or the Anti-Child Abuse Law are now being prepared for filing against the suspects before the provincial prosecutor’s office.
By Dexter A. See