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P2.4-M drug bust | Suspect arrested after abandoning vehicle and fleeing on foot

PERSONNEL of the Task Force Davao and the Toril Police Station intercepted an estimated P2.4-million worth of illegal drugs at the Sirawan checkpoint on Monday afternoon.

The suspect was identified as Ronnie Martinez Jr, 25, a resident of Paraiso, Koronadal City, South Cotabato.

Col. Consolito Yecla, the commander of Task Force Davao, said the suspect was on board his Suzuki vehicle when the law enforcers flagged him to pass through the light vehicle inspection area. They requested him to open his small sling bag.

The inspector on duty requested him to park his vehicle to the side but he sped away instead, leaving behind the bag. When they opened it, they saw three heat-sealed plastic transparent sachets of suspected shabu with an estimated weight of 150.43 grams. At street value, the drugs will total P2,406,880.

When they gave chase, they discovered that the vehicle was abandoned in front of Gaisano Grand Mall in Toril.

They immediately launched a manhunt. They radioed for backup and alert all police officers and TFD personnel to be on the lookout for the description of the suspect.

Later, Martinez was captured in Barangay Marapangi, Toril–just a short distance away from where he abandoned the vehicle–with the help of the barangay Tanod and residents in the area.

“We would like to give thanks and attribute this successful apprehension of the suspect to the tanods and residents of Barangay Marapangi,” Yecla said.

It was the biggest haul since July this year when a banana plantation executive was arrested with P2.2 million worth of shabu in his possession.

llan Rey Mapalo Peralta, 35, who worked for Sumifru and a resident of Purok 11, Upper Piedad, Barangay Bato, Toril, was stopped for a routine inspection when they flagged him. He came from Barangay Malamuti, Kabacan municipality in North Cotabato, and was on his way home.

For this year, the TF Davao already apprehended 69 suspects involving a total of 656.25 grams of shabu with a street value of P10,436,065.

Just last month, construction worker JC Mendoza Castillo, 44, a resident of Purok 23, Phase 1, Barangay Sto Nino, Tugbok District, yielded about P900,000 worth of illegal drugs after his arrest at the checkpoint along MacArthur Highway, fronting Shell gas station, in Ulas, Talomo.

Yecla also stressed that the TF Davao will continue to support the anti-illegal drug operations of the police despite the additional task of helping contain the COVID-19 pandemic and terrorism.

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