Tanod, 9 others charged for illegal drugs

By Felipe V. Celino

ROXAS CITY, Capiz – Charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 or Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 were filed against a barangay tanod (village police) and 9 other individuals who were arrested Tuesday afternoon in a police-led drug buy-bust operation at Brgy. Punta Tabuc here.

The charges were filed before the City Prosecutors Office Wednesday afternoon against Ruel Espiritu Valencia, 53, of Barangay 9 here.

Also charged were Frederick Besa Dellota, 25; Gil Severo Ojera, 52; Fernando Laureano Ojera, 61; Joel Limboy Baso, 44, all residents of Brgy. San Jose, Roxas City; Nicole Aldea Villanueva, 19, of Brgy. Inzo Arnaldo, Roxas City; Jason Barbasa Datiles, 45, of Brgy. Banica, Roxas City; Ramie Develos Fuentes, 28, of Pob. Ilawod Panitan, Capiz; John Paul Arlante, 15; and Jolly Altamia Delos Reyes, 56; both of Barangay 9 here.

The joint drug buy-bust operation was conducted by the Station Drug Enforcement Team (SDET)-Roxas City, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Capiz, Aklan, and Guimaras at Railway St., Barangay Punta Tabuc, Roxas City around 2 p.m.

Recovered from their possession were 9 sachets of suspected shabu and several drug paraphernalia.

Police said the substance weighed 13 grams and was valued at P100,000.

Robin Cataluña, PDEA-Capiz chief, said the suspects were caught in the middle of a pot session at the house of Ruel Espiritu Valencia.

According to Barangay Kagawad Melbery Acolola of Brgy. 9 here, he was surprised upon learning of the bust as he personally knew that Valencia was never involved in illegal drug use and trade in their place.

He described the said tanod as a top 5 performing member of Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) in their village.

Acolola believed that Valencia was allowed to use his house as a drug den for financial reasons. He learned that alleged drug users paid P20 to P50 as rental for the purported drug den.