MANILA - Operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency National Capital Region (PDEA-NCR) raided the houses of two alleged illegal drug operators in Tagaytay Street, Caloocan City.
Targets of the PDEA operation were suspects Alex Zapata and Alvin Jimenez, alleged leaders of the Zapata and Adriano Drug Groups operating in the boundary of Caloocan, Manila and Quezon City.
"Eto ang nag-o-operate sa tri-boundaries eh. Boundary ng Quezon City, Manila and Caloocan. Sila yung bago-operate dito. Actually tatlong grupo ito. Yung isa eh we are still working on the other group. Etong dalawa, mukhang manu-neutralize natin, madi-dismantle natin itong dalawang grupo na ito," Wilkins Villanueva, director of PDEA-NCR said.
Tagaytay Street is located just beside the North Cemetery with easy passage going in and out of the Cemetery.
"Dito sa Maynila, kapag merong krimen na ginawa, may hold-up, dito ang takbuhan. Notorious ang lugar na ito, not only illegal activities, not only drugs," Vilanueva said.
Armed with a search warrant, PDEA operatives first raided the house of Zapata but failed to locate the suspect inside his residence.
Authorities, however, were successful in arresting his brother, Alejandro Zapata.
Meanwhile, Jimenez, alias Bunso, was arrested inside his residence.
Jimenez denied his involvement in illegal drug activities. "Hindi po totoo, natutulog ako eh, kakauwi ko lang," he said.
Also arrested was Santi Adriano, along with other buyers and patrons of illegal drugs.
"Huling-huli ko pa nung nakaraang taon. Di na po ako gumamit simula nung pumasok si [President] Duterte, natatakot na po ako sa buhay namin," Charito Pangalanan, suspected buyer and user of illegal drugs, said.
Drug paraphernalia were also recovered in the drug dens.