Elements of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) implemented a lawful search that led to the discovery of four drug dens in the parking lot of Paco Public Market on February 20, 2017.

PDEA Director General Isidro S. Lapeña said that the illegal facilities are maintained by Marichu Sagcal, 38 years old; Juanito Ropa Elizalde, alias Buboy, 41; Brendalyn Usi, alias Dalyn, 39; Noel Acido, 43; Maricris Ayson, 41; Joel Principe Permejo, 40; Christopher Calixto, alias Tupeng, 39; and Ali Madid, 57, all residents of Paco, Manila.

At around 5:30 in the afternoon, joint operatives of PDEA Regional Office-National Capital Region (PDEA RO-NCR) under Director Wilkins Villanueva, PDEA-Special Enforcement Services (PDEA-SES) under Director Ismael Fajardo, PDEA K9 under Director Lexington Alonzo, in coordination with Paco Police Community Precinct, arrested Sagcal, Elizalde, Usi, Acido, Ayson, Permejo, Calixto and Madid in a semi-permanent structure and three “kubols” utilized as drug dens inside the parking lot of Paco Public Market along Pedro Gil Street, Paco, Manila.

Seized during the operations were a total of 64 transparent plastic sachets containing white crystalline substance believed to be shabu, weighing approximately 51 grams, with an estimated market value of P208,000 and various drug paraphernalia.

Also taken into custody were suspected customers of the dens identified as Emetrio Sagcal, 64; Rizelle Doce, 42; Mario Gremtam, 57; Engelbert Acido, 24; Edwin Garcia, 31; Araceli Angeles, 53; Rolando Virginia, 55; Vicente Ganadores, 39; Nestor Gutierrez, 58; Jackielou Elizalbe, 28; Angelita Espinosa, 51; May Astorga, 36; Jackilyn Usi, 27; Vicky Lesigwes, 34; Rosfel Abrenica, 25; Dino Cuaño, alias Mongs, 26; Alpacino Guillermo, 24; Jovito Abejo, 49; Sharmaine delos Santos, 23; Melissa Cortez, 53; Angelie Matematico, 27; and Julie Ann Gramtam, 22, who were inside the dens when the operation was conducted.

Also rescued were seven minors, aged 14 to 17 years old, including an 11-month old baby boy. They were turned over to Crisis Intervention Unit, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) National Capital Region in Sampaloc, Manila.

Sagcal, Elizalde, Usi, Acido, Ayson, Permejo, Calixto and Madid will be facing charges for violation of Section 6 (Maintenance of a Drug Den), Section 11 (Possession of Dangerous Drugs) and Section 12 (Possession of Drug Paraphernalia), Article II, of Republic Act 9165, or The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. Cases for violation of Section 7 (Visitors of a Drug Den) of the anti-drug law will also be filed against the others.

Lapeña commended the operating teams for a job well done. “It is becoming more troubling that illegal drugs are open to the public and loosely sold. But PDEA will continue to be ever vigilant and will not let up on its aggressive pursuit of its mandate under the law,” he said.

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