By Edwin Fernandez

BIG CATCH. An agent of PDEA-BARMM accounts for shabu seized from an alleged big time drug peddler during a buy-bust in Indanan, Sulu on Saturday (March 9, 2024). Some PHP13.6 million worth of shabu were seized from the suspect. (PDEA-BARMM photo)

COTABATO CITY – Authorities in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) seized PHP13.6 million worth of shabu during a buy-bust in Indanan, Sulu, over the weekend, an official said Monday.

Director Gil Cesario Castro of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-BARMM) said Saturday’s operation in Barangay Tagbak, Indanan town, turned violent when one of the suspects resisted arrest and fired at government forces.

He said the suspect, Sakura Badih Astung, is now detained at the Indanan municipal police station, awaiting inquest proceedings for violation of RA 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

“Astung was transacting business with an undercover agent when his companion sensed the presence of government troops, pulled a pistol, and opened fire toward a soldier, injuring him,” Castro said in a statement.

A cohort  quickly fled while firing his gun and managed to escape, he added.

PDEA said the injured soldier was rushed to a hospital.

Recovered from Astung two sachets of suspected shabu, weighing 2,000 grams, buy-bust money, a mobile phone, and a motorcycle. (PNA)