DATU ODIN SINSUAT, Maguindanao—A team of anti-narcotics operatives, police and military personnel arrested on Friday a Maguindanao lady public school teacher and three other cohorts during a drug buy-bust operation, an official of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao said.
PDEA-ARMM Director Juvenal Azurin identified the suspect as Salama Diwa Talib, a teacher of Datu Unsay Elementary School in Maguindanao.
Azurin said Talib yielded P6.8 million worth of suspected “shabu” following a buy-bust operation at a gasoline station in Sitio Badac, Barangay Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat town.
Talib’s three companions, identified as Saiden Yusa, Mahmod Dimudtang, and Nasser Pasawilan, all legal age, were also arrested.
Azurin, who led the operation himself, said the entrapment operation against Talib and her cohorts came about after the agency received information from concerned citizens about the group’s drug-peddling activities in Maguindanao.
The operation involved a PDEA poseur-buyer, who had negotiated with Talib’s group to acquire some 50 grams of “shabu” worth P300,000.
At past 5 pm, PDEA operatives, backed by elements of the Army’s 19th Infantry Battalion and Maguindanao Provincial Police Drug Enforcement Unit, pounced on Talib after she handed over the stuff and received the supposed P300,000 cash from the PDEA poseur-buyer.
“We placed an original P1,000 bill on top of photocopied cut paper money inside a paper bag to make it appear it was real money,” Azurin said.
Authorities recovered a big plastic packet of “shabu” weighing 50 grams with a street value of P340,000, as well as 19 other sachets of the prohibited substance worth P6.46 million.
Also seized were the suspects’ mobile phones used in the transaction.
Azurin said his office is still trying to determine if the group belongs to a big-time syndicate operating in Maguindanao.
All four suspects are currently detained at the PDEA-ARMM lockup cell while charges for violation of Republic Act No. 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, are being readied against them.