Ex-beauty contestant, GF nabbed in Manila drug bust
MANILA — Former Binibining Pilipinas candidate Marife Garlit and her female partner were arrested in an alleged drug bust in Sampaloc, Manila.
Chief Inspector Wilfredo Sy identified Garlit’s partner as Ma. Lovella Rival, 43. Sy, who heads Criminal Investigation and Detection Group – Manila, said Garlit, 46, was just a user while Rival ranked number three on their list of target personalities who have been peddling drugs in Sampaloc area.
The couple, he added, were arrested for drug possession in 2014 and were out on bail when rearrested in a buy-bust operation on M. Dela Fuente street about 2:30 p.m. on Monday.
Police allegedly seized four sachets of suspected shabu and P100 bill marked money from Rival. An improvised burner, a small transparent plastic sachet, cutter, and scissor, meanwhile, were allegedly seized from Garlit, who was allegedly “in the act of using illegal drugs” when nabbed.
“She’s [Rival] one of the big-time players in the area who sold shabu at a price not lower than P500. For a poor community, where most of the residents are jobless, P500 is considered big money,” Sy said in an interview.
He added that Rival maintained a shanty used as drug den. She continued to operate even after fleeing the neighborhood last July.
Sy said the operation to arrest Rival, called Big Bertha, was launched months ago but the suspect was “elusive and would only go back to Sampaloc thrice a week.” A “dedicated team” had to be assigned to monitor her movements, he said.
Rival will face a non-bailable case for drug peddling while Garlit will be charged with drug possession.
In an interview with Philippine Daily Inquirer, both admitted to using drugs and confirmed their pending case but a weeping Rival denied peddling shabu. “That’s not true. I’m a user but I never sold drugs,” Rival said as she sat by Garlit’s side inside CIDG-Manila’s jail.
The couple said a certain “Igme” set them up.
Rival said she went back to Sampaloc on Monday to get money but ended up giving in when Igme egged her to use drugs.
“Ang tagal ko na po kasi hindi gumagamit. Totoo po na gagamit ako, pero hindi po talaga ako nagbebenta (It’s been a long time since I last used drugs. It’s true that I was about to take drugs but really, I wasn’t selling them)” she said.
Garlit also said that she stopped using shabu since her release from a rehabilitation center in 2014. She said she only went to Sampaloc because Rival told her to. SFM
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