MANILA, Philippines - A suspected cocaine peddler nabbed on Tuesday for allegedly trying to sell P2.6 million worth of illegal drugs during a buy-bust operation in Cavite province allegedly committed suicide Wednesday morning, police said.
The CALABARZON (Region 4A) police office cited a report by Senior Superintendent Primitivo Tabujara, Cavite police chief, which said that the suspect, Arnold Alima y Villejo, was found to have “strangled himself using his jeans (maong pants) at the steel grill door” of the cell where he was detained.
Alima was 22 years old, single and a resident of Barangay San Rafael in San Pablo City, Laguna.
Police Officer 2 Lyndon Mindo was reportedly conducting a routine inspection at around 4:40 a.m. at the Police Intelligence Branch (PIB) Annex detention cell when he discovered Alima “still gushing for air and still alive.”
The report said members of the PIB-Cavite then rushed the suspected illegal drug peddler to Our Lady of Pillar Hospital in Imus, Cavite where the suspect was given immediate medical attention.
Despite efforts to resuscitate and revive Alima, the victim was declared dead by attending physician Dr. Marlon Caravana.
Alima was nabbed Tuesday before dawn in a buy-bust operation by Cavite police with members of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Tanzang Luma in Imus, Cavite. He was caught while allegedly selling 519.98 grams of cocaine to a policeman who posed as a buyer.
Police said he was charged for violation of Sec 5 and Sec 11 Article II of Republic Act 9165 by State Prosecutor Rassendell Rex F. Gingoyon.
Meanwhile, Mindo, who found the suspect strangled, said that the suspect was visited by some relatives and friends on Tuesday evening. From then on, “they noticed that the suspect was behaving abnormally and uncomfortable prompting them to closely monitor his action.”
Tabujara stated in his report that Alima belonged to the Amante Group, which is being closely monitored for illegal drug activity in Laguna and Cavite areas. Two other suspects, identified by police as "Nancy and Garcia," eluded arrest during the buy-bust operation Tuesday.
Chief Superintendent Rolando Añonuevo, acting regional police director, meanwhile directed Tabujara “to determine the veracity and circumstances on this suicide incident.”
Añonuevo also ordered other police chiefs in the region to closely monitor the selling of cocaine, which may have come from the botched landing of the illegal drug in a coastal bay in Samar earlier wherein some of the illegal drugs were found by civilians. The drugs are now reportedly being peddled in Manila and in CALABARZON area. - with reports from Sarita Kare, ABS-CBN Southern Tagalog and Dominic Almelor, ABS-CBN News