Soldiers nab 6 drug suspects, seize guns in Maguindanao
COTABATO CITY — Acting on a tip from civilians, soldiers from two Army units in Maguindanao raided a drug den on Saturday that led to the arrest of six suspected drug peddlers and the seizure of assorted firearms and cash.
The joint operation was conducted by combined elements of the Army’s 57th Infantry Battalion and 1st Mechanized Infantry Battalion in two houses in Sitio Matilak, Barangay Butilen of Datu Salibo town, according to Maj. Gen. Diosdado Carreon, 6th Infantry Division commander.
Troops under 2Lt. Kim Belacuan of 57th IB raided the house of a certain Anwar K. Bucca, 49, and seized from him two sachets of suspected shabu and drug paraphernalia, one 9mm caliber pistol, a motorcycle, and a sports utility vehicle believed to be used for illegal drug trafficking.
Arrested with Bucca were Ruben Esmail, 27, of Barangay Butilen, and Tarry Esmail, 27, of Barangay Kanguan in nearby Datu Piang town.
Simultaneously, troops under 2Lt. Raner Carl San Francisco of 1st Mechanized Battalion also raided the house of a certain Samer Ali Quia and recovered from him one sachet of suspected shabu, drug paraphernalia, one carbine rifle and five .45 caliber pistols.
Arrested with Quia were Abubakar Kamidon Ali, 27, of Barangay Butilen, and Mak Ayub, 20, of Cotabato City. They were with Quia during the operation.
Carreon said the operation was coordinated with the local police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency who will be filing the appropriate charges against the suspects.
Carreon said the operation was part of the strict implementation of martial law in Mindanao against local threat groups and criminals in support to the campaign against loose firearms and illegal drugs.
Also recovered from the suspects were P90,000 cash believed to be proceeds from drug trading, one barrel of US rifle, camouflage uniforms, several magazines and ammunition, assorted parts of M16 rifle, Moro Islamic Liberation Front identification cards, and war materiel.
The suspects are temporarily in the Army’s custody. /je
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