A ‘high-value’ drug target in Mindanao is now in jail after being arrested by combined agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Philippine National Police in an anti-narcotics raid in General Santos City last Sunday, officials said.
A report to PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino said that 54-year-old Ruel Espinoza, who has been tagged as a member of a big-time drug trafficking syndicate operating in Central Mindanao, yielded some 100 grams of suspected shabu worth P500,000 and a cache of high-powered weapons and explosives during the raid on the suspect’s residence in Vallejo Subdivision in Bgy. Gen. Paulino Santos.
Apart from the drugs, also recovered by combined operatives of the PDEA, the Joint Task Force GenSan and the PNP Special Action Force inside the suspect’s place were two loaded M-14 automatic rifles, a rifle grenade, a caliber .45 pistol, a .22 pistol, an airgun and several drug paraphernalia, including a digital weighing scale.
Charges for illegal possession of drugs, firearms and explosives will be filed against the suspect.
Meanwhile, Aquino will be officially assuming the top PDEA post today during simple ceremonies at the PDEA headquarters in Quezon City. Erstwhile PDEA chief and now Customs Commissioner Isidro S. Lapeña will be turning over the PDEA command to Aquino and at the same time give monetary reward to a number of informants who have provided the agency thru its Operation: Private Eye substantial information that led to the arrest of major drug personalities and the seizure of millions of pesos worth of shabu and other dangerous drugs.