P18.5 million worth of marijuana seized, 3 arrested in Mt. Province
by Andrew Doga-ong
BONTOC, Mt. Province (8 February) -- The government's drive against illegal drugs got a boost with the arrest of three alleged drug traffickers and the seizure of some 742 kilos of dried marijuana plants worth P18.5 million night of February 3 at sitio Lagkangew, Callutit, Bontoc along the Bontoc - Tabuk national road.
Bontoc Chief of Police P/Sr. Inspector Julio Lizardo identified the suspects as Lina Banao, native of Buscalan, Tinglayan, Kalinga but residing at Quarry, Baguio City, Mario Dalacnas, a native of Bugnay, Tinglayan, Kalinga and Julius Alcido of Poblacion, Bauko, Mt. Province but a resident of Upper Pinget, Baguio City. Police identified Banao as the alleged owner of confiscated marijuana plants.
Police investigation disclosed that Banao hired Dalacnas and Alcido to get the prohibited drugs from a passenger jeepney plying the Bontoc - Tabuk route at sitio Mamaga, Sadanga with the instruction to transport the same to Baguio City.
Lizardo said that on the night of February 3 at about 10:30, while his team was conducting checkpoint at sitio Lagkangew, barangay Callutit, they flagged down a Hyundai Grace van with plate number XLB 832 owned by PCS Cargo Movers Networks Inc., SBPZ, Olongapo City, which turned out to be loaded with sacks of dried marijuana plants. Accompanying the contrabands were Dalacnas and Alcido.
Lizardo said the eventual seizure of the van loaded with marijuana and the arrest of the suspects confirmed the information he earlier received from their other law enforcement partners as tipped off by their Access Agent that illegal drugs are about to be transported to Manila using the Tabuk - Bontoc road.
Inventory of the confiscated illegal drug at the municipal plaza netted a total 783 bricks of dried marijuana leaves, buds and seeds placed in 25 sacks weighing approximately 742 kilos with a Dangerous Drug Board value of P18,550,000.00.
In a following mobile check point operation on February 4, Banao who was on her way to Bontoc and supposed to follow the contraband to Baguio City, was arrested by another team of Bontoc police with the help of suspect Dalacnas.
The suspects are all temporarily detained at the Bontoc Police Station as a case of violation of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drug Act of 2002 were filed against them at the Provincial Prosecutors Office. The seized illegal drugs were turned over to the Regional Crime Laboratory at Camp Bado Dangwa, Benguet for further laboratory test and safe keeping.
Police reports also disclosed that the illegal activities of Banao and her group such as the transportation and sale of marijuana has been the subject of surveillance of personnel of various law enforcement agencies including the Station Anti-Illegal Drug - Special Operation Task Group of Taguig City, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency -CAR, Provincial Police Mobile Group of Benguet, 1611th of PPMG of Mt. Province and the Bontoc Police Station. (PIA - Mt. Province) [top]