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Ex-cop held amid governor’s bid for drug ‘big fish’

/ 02:29 AM January 23, 2014

DIGOS CITY—Law enforcers arrested a former colleague and another man following separate drug buy-bust operations that netted over P500,000 worth of suspected shabu here and in nearby Hagonoy, Davao del Sur, reports reaching the provincial police office here said.

The buy-bust operations were conducted about six hours apart on Monday, the report issued Tuesday said.

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These were the first major arrests that law enforcers made following Davao del Sur Gov. Claude Bautista’s public announcement of his dismay over the anti-illegal drugs campaign in the province.

In the first arrest, Gil Cabrera, a former police officer assigned to the province, yielded two packets of shabu worth P500,000 during the buy-bust operation in Barangay (village) Tulogan in Hagonoy town past 2 p.m. on Monday, according to Senior Inspector De Quencio Pante, action officer of the provincial anti-illegal drugs task force.

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Pante said Cabrera, 53, handed a sachet of shabu to an undercover agent which led to a search of his house. More drugs were found during the raid.

He said Cabrera was barely out of the Davao Penal Farm in Davao del Norte for the same offense when arrested. “He returned to his old ways,” Pante said.

Superintendent Querubin Manalang, Digos City police chief, also said police arrested a pusher who had eluded authorities for months.

Manalang said Carlos Navares, 52, a resident of Mabini Extension here, was arrested after he sold shabu to another undercover agent.

Late last year, Bautista said he was not convinced with the performance of the police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in the antidrugs campaign as it appears only small pushers are being arrested.

He said police achievement in the antidrug campaign is not commensurate to the amount of funds that the campaign is getting from the provincial government.

“I had expected more,” he said at a meeting of the provincial peace and order council here. Bautista said he wanted police to capture a “big fish.”

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There were reports that a number of big-time pushers in the province are being protected by scalawags in uniform and some politicians.

Bautista said if he has to personally oversee police operations against drugs he would do it just to show he is serious about eliminating the scourge of drugs in the province. Eldie Aguirre and Orlando Dinoy, Inquirer Mindanao

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