Tokhang surrenderer nabbed in Molo drug bust

By Jennifer P. Rendon

A Tokhang* surrenderer was arrested during a police anti-narcotics operation on the afternoon of June 19 in Molo, Iloilo City.

Angelita Lacson, 57, of Zone 2, Barangay San Juan, Molo, was caught red-handed when she led a police poseur buyer to the lair of Arsenio Deocareza.

The 29-year-old Deocareza, also a resident of Barangay San Juan, was the primary target of the operation initiated by the Iloilo City Police Station 4.

The suspects allegedly conspired to sell a sachet of suspected shabu for P8,000.

Police also seized seven additional sachets of suspected shabu and several non-drug items.

The confiscated illegal drugs weighed around 15 grams and were valued at P102,000. According to authorities, Deocareza has been involved in the illegal drug trade in their village.

Despite his escape, Deocareza will be charged, along with Lacson, for violation of Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002).

Meanwhile, a live-in couple was arrested after they were allegedly caught conspiring to sell illegal drugs in Lapuz, Iloilo City.

Mark Anthony Martinez, 43, and Sarah Jane Española, 32, were arrested late on the evening of June 19 at their home in Zone 3, Barangay Punong, Lapuz.

Members of the Iloilo City Police Station 2 arrested the duo after they sold a sachet of suspected shabu to a police poseur buyer for P3,000.

Upon further frisking, the suspects were found with six more sachets of suspected shabu and several non-drug items.

The seized drugs weighed around 12.5 grams with a standard drug price of P85,000. Based on records, the couple is tagged as street-level pushers.

They are currently detained and will be charged for violation of Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002).

*The Tokhang surrender program, initiated under President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, aims to encourage drug offenders to voluntarily surrender to authorities to avoid violent confrontations. Despite this, many Tokhang surrenderers have reverted to illegal activities, prompting continuous police operations to curb the drug menace.

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