By Edwin Fernandez

BUSTED. The two busted suspects speak to a radio reporter after they are arrested during an anti-drug operation in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao del Norte on May 25, 2024. Now detained at a municipal police lock-up cell, they are facing charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, for possession of PHP3.4 million worth of shabu. (Photo courtesy of PRO-BAR)

CAMP S.K. PENDATUN, Maguindanao del Norte – Policemen are running after members of a drug syndicate operating in Maguindanao del Norte and Cotabato City following the arrest of two brothers for illegal drug trafficking over the weekend.

Brig. Gen. Prexy Tanggawohn, police regional director for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), said the siblings are believed to be part of a bigger illegal drug ring in the region.

“Both suspects were arrested in Barangay Poblacion Dalican, Datu Odin Sinsuat (DOS) town on Saturday afternoon,” Tanggawohn said in a statement on Monday.

Lt. Col. Sahibon Mamantal, DOS municipal police station chief, said the buy-bust was carried out by the Police Drug Enforcement Group, Special Operations Unit-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (PDEG-SOU-BAR) at the town’s public market.

Mamantal identified the suspects as Monzur Talusan, 35, and his brother Wuji, 19, both of Barangay Tambak, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao del Norte.

He said the suspects agreed to sell half kilo of “shabu” worth PHP3.4 million to a police undercover agent in front of the town’s public market at around 5 p.m.

“They were immediately arrested after they handed over the illegal stuff to a police agent,” Mamantal said in an interview.

Policemen are determining the sources of illegal drugs that the siblings have been peddling, he said.

On May 24, agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency also dismantled a drug den and arrested four drug personalities during a buy-bust operation in Barangay Tamontaka Mother, Cotabato City.

Recovered from the suspects were 28 pieces of sachets of “shabu” with a street value of PHP102,000, mobile phones, and assorted identification cards. (PNA)