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Parañaque City house burns down after owners arrested for drugs

In a bizarre turn of events, three family members engaging in a pot session at their home in Parañaque City were apprehended by police after midnight on Tuesday. One of them fled, evading arrest. Then, less than an hour later, their two-storey home was engulfed in flames.

These unfortunate events, however, was not being treated as related. Senior Insp. Wilson Tana, Parañaque’s chief arson investigator, told the Inquirer he was unsure if drug-related arrests at the ill-fated home had even transpired before the blaze.


A spot report from the Parañaque Station Drug Enforcement Unit, however, confirmed that three drug suspects were arrested on Tuesday at the same address as the fire, No. 2165 Bagong Lipunan Street, Barangay Baclaran.

Two of the suspects, Julius Ceasar Aranas and Rogelio Aranas, also had the same surname as the owner of the gutted house, Emerlina.


According to the police report, a team of Parañaque City cops were conducting “Oplan Galugad” after midnight on Tuesday when they chanced upon four suspects smoking “shabu” (crystal meth).

Along with Julius Ceasar, 47, and Rogelio, 63, a third suspect was also nabbed by police, Sajid Acebedo, 38. A third member of the Aranas family, Agusto, managed to escape.

Aside from facing illegal drug charges, the three arrested men were also slapped with violations for illegal gambling and carrying bladed weapons. Three plastic sachets suspected to be shabu, playing cards and scissors were seized from the suspects.

Shortly after the arrest, at around 1 a.m., the fire began.

According to a report by Fire Officer 3 Gennie Huidem, another resident at the house, Emmierlyn Grace Hernandez, woke up when she heard someone outside shouting, “Is there anybody in there?”

Hernandez smelled something burning, and saw the blaze on the second floor of the house, the report said.

“Alarmed, she immediately went outside and tried to extinguish the fire using a bucket of water, but her effort failed,” it added.


The fire was put out at 2:25 a.m., and had managed to encroach onto the second floor of an adjacent house. The damage was pegged at P50,000, while the home where it began was “totally gutted.”

No injuries were reported, according to Huidem’s report.

“We’re looking at the electricity as an angle in the investigation,” Tana said. He added that the blaze spread quickly because the house, situated on a street occupied by informal settlers, was made of light materials. /vvp

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