By: Jennifer P. Rendon
AT 22, Werjun Tanate is no newbie to criminal activities.
In fact, apart from illegal drugs, police claimed that he was also into gun-for-hire and robbery activities.
Early morning of July 3, 2019, Tanate was arrested anew at his apartment in Barangay Desamparados, Jaro, Iloilo City.
Members of the Regional Drug Enforcement Unit and Jaro Police Station collared Tanate, along with his alleged “runners”; Beatles Sanchez, 18, and Ronel Ferrer, 31, both residents of Desamparados village.
Police Captain Marc Dado, RDEU team leader, said Tanate allegedly connived with Sanchez and Ferrer in selling a sachet of suspected shabu for P3,500.
After they were arrested, the suspects yielded 16 more sachets of shabu with an estimated street value of P217,000.
Tanate has been on the police watch list of illegal drug personalities even while he was incarcerated at the Bureau of Jail Management Penology (BJMP)-Iloilo City district jail in Barangay Ungka, Jaro.
Even if he was in jail for a drug-related offense, he did not stop peddling shabu, Dado claimed.
Tanate is considered a high value target (HVT) Level 1 drug personality.
He had links to the group of suspected drug personalities Rusty Jablo, Richard Prevendido, and Ernesto Bolivar.
Jablo was a suspected drug pusher who died while in detention at General Santos City while Prevendido was considered a top drug personality until his death in a police operation in September 2017.
“Basically, he (Tanate) did not stop his operation. He is considered notorious because of his multiple criminal involvements,” Dado said.
But Dado said he is not aware of the circumstances why Tanate was released from detention.
While at the BJMP facility, Tanate allegedly supplied drugs to fellow peddlers in Iloilo City.
On Jan. 20, 2018, two minors were arrested in a police anti-narcotics with P300,000 worth of illegal drugs.
Jepoy and Angel, who were both 17 years old back then, were arrested at their homes in Project 5, Barangay Sooc.
RDEU said the minors were newly-identified drug personalities.
Angel’s father was also a policeman assigned at the Iloilo City Police Station 1.
But the father, who retired February 2018, claimed he had no knowledge of his daughter’s illegal drugs activity.
The two suspects yielded 110 sachets of suspected shabu with an estimated street value of P250,000 to P300,000; P15,000 cash including the marked money; drug paraphernalia, and a mobile phone.
During the tactical interrogation, both suspects claimed they got their supply from Tanate who was detained at the BJMP facility in Jaro.
Shortly after the teenagers’ arrest, Tanate called to warn them not to push through with the transaction.
But it was too late since RDEU operatives were the ones who took his call.
Angel claimed she knew Tanate through her boyfriend who was also incarcerated in BJMP-Ungka.
The two detainees are allegedly friends.
Immediately after, Tanate was put in isolation.
Before the arrest of the two minors, the RDEU also collared 27-year-old Virgilio Imperio in a buy-bust operation at Savannah Subdivision in Barangay Abilay, Oton, Iloilo.
Recovered from his possession were 21 plastic sachets of suspected shabu, P2,000 cash, and a mobile phone.
Imperio also mentioned that his supply came from Tanate and he got it from a “bodega” in Arevalo.