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MPG driver arrested in anti-drug buy bust

A civilian driver, assigned by the local government to the Mobile Patrol Group (MPG) of Davao City Police Office (DCPO), was arrested by police in a buy-bust operation on Sunday.

Chief Insp. Michael Uyanguren, the commander of Sta. Ana Police Precinct identified the suspect as Joseph Espellego Medel Jr., 25, single, and resident of Block 31, Lot 5, Emily Homes, Barangay Cabantian, Buhangin District.

Uyanguren said Medel was arrested at the corner of Fatima and Pag-asa streets in Barangay 25-C, Poblacion at 5:05 p.m. Sunday after selling a sachet of shabu for P500 to an undercover officer.

Also confiscated from Medel were two other sachets of shabu, estimated to worth P3,000.

The operation, Uyanguren said, was in coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) XI.

Uyanguren said Medel is categorized as a second level high value target.

“He is not big time but is a government employee,” he added. “We just monitored him this month.” Medel was said to be a City Hall-paid job-order worker.

DCPO spokesperson Sr. Insp. Ma. Theresita Gaspan said Medel was with the MPG for four years already.

“According to his superior, they did not receive any information that Medel was involved in illegal activity,” Gaspan said.

The DCPO spokesperson, however, added that his superior observed that the driver was delinquent in his work recently, and he was “always absent” for the past few months.

Prior to the buy-bust operation, Gaspan said, Medel was one of those drivers recommended to City Hall not to be renewed for its poor performance.

Condemning Medel’s illegal activity, the spokesperson said the DCPO is not tolerating such act.

“In fact, just last week a surprise random drug test was conducted on the officers and drug enforcement unit to ensure that we are free from any illegal drug activity,” she said.

With the incident, Gaspan said the public can now expect that the DCPO “will be aggressive on the internal cleansing, not only on the personnel but also those who are connected or working at DCPO like police auxiliary and driver of patrol cars.”

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