CEBU CITY, Philippines — In a span of 20 minutes, police in Cebu City were able to confiscate 2.6 kilos of suspected shabu worth P17.7 million in two separate buy-bust operations in Barangays Basak San Nicolas and Bulacao Pardo on Saturday night, Feb. 25.
The biggest drug haul was transacted in Barangay Basak San Nicolas, which led to the arrest of Ariel Lipumano, 32, a resident of Barangay Bulacao in Talisay City, said Police Major Jonathan Taneo, chief of Mambaling Police Station.
Lipumano was caught with two kilos of ‘shabu’ worth P13.6 million by the Mambaling police at about 11:30 p.m. on Saturday. Police had listed Lipumano in the Regional Level watchlist of drug personalities. However, Lipumano, in an interview with the media, refused to comment of his alleged involvement in illegal drugs.
Police Colonel Ireneo Dalogdog, chief of the Cebu City Police Office (CPPO), said that Lipumano could allegedly dispose of his illegal items in Barangays Tisa, Pardo, Mambaling, and Basak San Nicolas.
Dalogdog said that Lipumano could sell at least a kilo of “shabu” in a week.
Despite the volume of illegal drugs taken from him, Dalogdog could not tell for now if the suspect was a member of a drug group operating in the city. However, they received information that the suspect was working with a high-value individual, which the police official opted not to name the person pending their investigation.
“Base sa information, ito siya ay isang bodegero, at the same time, courier… ito’y pinapaabot namin sa ating katawhan nga kung dunay ginabuhat nga illegal nga druga, mustop namo kay nakahibawo naman ta nga di ni makahatag og kaayo,” Dalogdog said.
Based on our information, he is a ‘warehouseman’ [one who keeps a stock of illegal drugs to distribute], at the same time, a courier…this is what we want the public to know especially those who are into the illegal drugs trade, stop now because you know that nothing good will come out of this.)
Lipumano is currently detained at the Mambaling Police Station while police ready the filing of illegal drug complaints against him.
Earlier, Taneo admitted that in his areas of jurisdiction, he already noticed a development in their campaign against illegal drugs such as the cooperation and help they were getting from the community and their successful police operations. But he admitted that demands for illegal drugs had remained and that this was what they were working on right now.
Twenty minutes earlier from the Basak San Nicolas buy-bust, police arrested Ramil Gabaca, 29, habal-habal driver, after he was caught with 605 grams of suspected shabu worth P4.1 million during a buy-bust operation at 11:10 p.m. in Barangay Bulacao Pardo in Cebu City
Gabaca was arrested twice for the same offense last December 2022 and recently on February 2023 but was released after he availed of plea bargaining agreement.
Dalogdog said that they already identified a drug personality whom the suspect was getting his items. This person could be the subject of their next police operation.
Gabaca is currently detained at the holding facility of the Cebu City Police Office.
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