8 suspected Tiñga drug gang members fallBy Jodee A. Agoncillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Eight more suspected members of the Tiñga drug syndicate were arrested the Monday after the police raided a four-story apartment complex being used as a drug den in Taguig City.
Taguig police chief Senior Supt. Arturo Felix Asis said that Joana Tiñga Palacio was caught using drugs along with her live-in partner Philip Gutierrez, Henry Tiñga, Eileen Adeza, Luisito Mabilog, Aurora Rocha, Ester Minorete and Cleon Ong.
He added that Joana and Henry were the niece and nephew of former Taguig mayor, now Rep. Freddie Tiñga. Joana, he explained, is the daughter of Noel Tiñga, Freddie’s cousin.
A statement from the city government’s public information office, meanwhile, said that in July 2012, Noel Tiñga’s wife, Elisa, was arrested. Found in her possession was P290,000 worth of “shabu.”
An alleged key member of the group, Elisa or “Ely” was in the police watch list as the third-most wanted person in Taguig at that time, the statement added.
Palacio, according to a press statement, is on the watch list of the Philippine National Police for her alleged involvement in illegal drugs.
Her arrest follows that of 14 other alleged members of the syndicate, among them Eduardo Lapena, a retired policeman, in Barangay (village) Ususan as part of authorities’ sustained efforts to stamp out illegal drugs in the city, the statement added.
Monday’s raid was carried out by the Taguig police’s anti-illegal drugs operatives led by Chief Insp. Jerry Amindalan who raided the four-story apartment at 36 P. Burgos St. in Barangay Sta. Ana at 4 p.m. on Monday.
This was after they received information that it was being used “as a drug den and for illegal drug trafficking,” Amindalan said in a statement.
Seized during the raid were six sachets of methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, worth P15,000, three sachets of marijuana and 15 Ecstasy tablets.
In the city government’s press statement, the Tiñga drug syndicate was described as a “big-time organized crime group” responsible for the proliferation of drugs not only in Taguig but in other parts of Metro Manila as well.
According to Asis, Monday’s raid was part of the police’s monitoring and surveillance in line with their all-out war against illegal drugs.