Antinarcotics agents swoop down on Iloilo drug den
MANILA, Philippines —Antinarcotics agents shut down a drug den in a depressed area in Iloilo City Wednesday, bringing to 24 the number of illegal drug facilities dismantled by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in 2012, officials said on Saturday.
Agents from PDEA’s Regional Office 6 under Director Yogi Filemon Ruiz led the operation to entrap Gocer Degala, 22, whose residence in Zone II, Barangay Bakhaw in Mandurriao, had been doubling up as a drug den, the agency said in a statement.
An undercover agent ventured inside the den disguised as a client and bought one sachet of shabu, or methamphetamine hydrochloride, from Degala, who was promptly arrested after handing the merchandise over, PDEA Director General Jose S. Gutierrez Jr. said.
The PDEA agents also recovered two more plastic sachets of shabu from Degala, along with a cellular phone he used for transacting business.
Dominic Javier, 37, a resident of Pototan, Iloilo, who was inside the drug den when the operation was conducted, was also arrested, Gutierrez said.
The two were brought to the Mundarriao Police Station to face charges of violating Section 5 (sale of dangerous drugs), Section 6 (maintenance of a drug den), Section 7 (visitor of a den) and Section 11 (possession of dangerous drugs) of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.
Gutierrez defined a drug den as a “one-stop-shop” illegal drug facility maintained to allow easy access for clients to buy shabu and provide a convenient place for them to consume the items.
“Drug dens have become popular among drug users because they can immediately consume the drugs they bought and walk away casually without fear of being arrested for possession of illegal drug. But then, again, PDEA found a way to breach their seemingly ‘undetectable arrangement’,” Gutierrez said.
“To date 24 drug dens have been successfully closed down by PDEA nationwide: six in Region 6; four each in Regions 4A, 5 and 7; two in Region 13; and one each in Regions 3, 9, 10 and 12,” he added.
“Illegal drugs are being sold like candies in communities through drug dens. That is why I have directed my men to prioritize the dismantling of these hubs to deny users easy access to local supply of shabu,” Gutierrez said.
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