P32-million shabu seized in Ozamiz raids

By Gerry Lee Gorit

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY , Philippines — Five persons were arrested and several kilos of shabu with an estimated street value of P32 million were seized in drug raids in Ozamiz City on Wednesday.

Butch Merino, the alleged bodyguard and driver of detained Ozamiz Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog, was collared at a checkpoint  and allegedly yielded several guns and at least P8 million worth of shabu.

Merino reportedly identified his supplier as a certain Melden Rabanes, who was arrested in a follow-up operation. Police said a kilo of shabu and P27 million in cash were recovered from Rabanes.

The regional police office said eight kilos of shabu were also seized from Melodia and Gaudencio, both surnamed Malingin. 

Authorities also raided the houses of Maychell Gumapac; Manuelito, Rizalina and June, all surnamed Francisco, and Ricardo and Christopher, both surnamed Parojinog. The suspects were not present during the raids, but various types of guns and ammunition and sachets of shabu were recovered from their houses.

P1.4-M marijuana

In Mountain Province, marijuana bricks, dried leaves and powder with an estimated value of P1.4 million were seized in a van at a police checkpoint in Sabangan town on Wednesday. 

Bayani Malang, 54, the driver of the Toyota Grandia (A2-N747), and 15 students, including four minors, an American and a Nigerian, were arrested.

Police pulled over the vehicle on Tuesday night after receiving reports that illegal drugs would be transported to Baguio City. It was only on Wednesday that the van was inspected after a local court issued a search warrant as demanded by the suspects. – Raymund Catindig, Artemio Dumlao

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