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Village peacekeeper nabbed in drug buy-bust; P10M worth of shabu seized

Photo by Matthew Reysio-Cruz

Suwaib Mamalangkay, 42, was his village’s nighttime peacekeeper until P10 million worth of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride), a hand grenade, and a .45-caliber pistol were seized from him by operatives of the Southern Police District (SPD)  in a buy-bust operation on Thursday morning.

SPD’s District Drug Enforcement Unit (DDEU) and the Taguig City police nabbed Mamalangkay at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday at his home on Maharlika Road, which straddles the border of Barangay Central Bicutan and Barangay Maharlika.

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The suspect admitted to the Inquirer that he was a drug user, but he denied owning the confiscated drugs Police said, however, that it was found in his black sling bag. He also sold 50 grams of shabu worth P120,000 to an undercover cop, and the two kilos of shabu were later found in his possession, according to Chief Insp. Jerry Amindalan, DDEU head.

Police said Mamalangkay had been under surveillance for months as he was suspected to be using his time as a night-shift peacekeeper in Central Bicutan to discreetly sell illegal drugs in the area.

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It turned out that his volunteer role in the village — breaking up riots that would erupt at night — belied his criminal record, which SPD director Chief Supt. Tomas Apolinario Jr. said include leading a robbery-holdup group involved in extrajudicial killings and reportedly murdering his own wife.

Mamalangkay, a Cotabato native and also known as Wabie Alim, spent five months in jail in 2015 for the alleged murder. He told the Inquirer he volunteered as a nighttime peacekeeper after his release to clear his name and said he also wanted “to help the people.”

His criminal record also included car theft, gun-for-hire activities, and a restaurant robbery in Parañaque City in November last year.

Photos by Matthew Reysio-Cruz

The suspect’s eponymous Mamalangkay Group was likewise tagged in the killing of a rookie cop in Taguig City in 2011. Two motorcycle-riding gunmen, believed to be members of the same group, were arrested in November 2017 in Taguig City.

Amindalan told the Inquirer that Mamalangkay had been part of the illicit drug trade since 2005, delivering to his network of suppliers in Taguig, Parañaque City, Muntinlupa City and Pateros.

“We need the assistance of the barangay (village), because if we just abandon the area after this, someone will inevitably come up to claim the market [the suspect] is leaving behind,” Amindalan said.

The SPD said Mamalangkay will be charged at the Taguig City Prosecutor’s office with nonbailable offenses for violation of Republic Act (RA) No. 9165 (or the Dangerous Drugs Act); RA 10591 and Presidential Decree 1866, which penalize illegal possession of firearms; and the Omnibus Election Code. /ee

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TAGS: buy bust operation, Illegal drugs, Philippine news updates, shabu, southern police district spd, Suwaib Mamalangkay, Taguig City police
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