COTABATO CITY - Around P6.8 million worth of illegal drugs were seized in a buy-bust operation in Cotabato City Plaza Friday afternoon.
The target of the operation agreed to sell one sachet of shabu to a poseur buyer.
But upon the arrest, 19 other sachets of illegal drugs were seized, weighing a total of 1 kilo and amounting to P6.8 million.
“Nung nag-agree na magbenta, ginrab na ng agents natin, though isang sachet lang sana 'yung bibilhin na nasa P100,000 to P200,000, pero nakita na lang nila marami pa palang dala. Actually, part sila ng isang local drug group sa Maguindanao,” said Jo Mary, spokesperson of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Two tricycle drivers were arrested in the operation.
Aside from illegal drugs, 2 hand grenades were recovered from their possession.
One of the suspects said he was just asked by someone to deliver a black bag.
He said he did not know what was inside the bag but admitted that he had used drugs.
“Tinawagan lang ako na kunin 'yan tapos may kukuha lang daw, ilagay lang sa bag. Nakipagkita lang doon... Hindi ko alam na shabu, kinuha ko lang. Tapos dito na sa town, sabi magsama lang kayo dito sa truck," he said.
Senior Supt. Rolly Octavio, director of the Cotabato City Police, said that based on their assessment, majority of illegal drugs seized in the city came from nearby municipalities.
“Sa analysis namin with other law enforcers, karamihan ng mga malalaking nahuhuli dito sa Cotabato City, mga hindi talaga galing dito. May nahuhuling mga residents dito (dahil sa droga) pero 'yung for own consumption lang nila," he said.
Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi warned drug personalities not to do business here.
“Kung tukuyin talaga natin 'yung pinaka-source, aminin man natin, masakit mang aminin, talagang nasa Maguindanao. Halos lahat naman ng nahuhuli dito taga Maguindanao galing. Kung magdumi kayo, 'wag dito sa Cotabato City because we will use the full force of the law," she said.
The two suspects will face charges of illegal possession of explosives and violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.