CEBU CITY, Philippines – Area police are on the hunt for members of a newly formed group allegedly selling illegal drugs in Cebu City.
And that group is made up of wives of drug suspects who are currently being held at Cebu City Jail in Barangay Kalunasan, says Police Lt. Col. Lymel John Pasquin of the Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group Special Operations Unit in the Central Visayas (PDEG-SOU-7).
The band members have a “flower tattoo” on their left arm, he added.
Pasquin said he learned of the group’s operation following the arrest of a 36-year-old woman and her 18-year-old cohort during a buy-bust operation at Sitio San Miguel in Barangay Lorega on Monday night April 11.
The arrested suspects have been identified as Jurafe Ramirez, a massage therapist, and her neighbor and drug dealer, Nicole Sanchez.
Police fraudconfiscated 215 grams of alleged shabu worth 1.4 million pesos from the two suspects.
During their investigation, Pasquin said, they learned that, like the other members of the group, Ramirez’s husband is now being held on a drug charge, which is why she took over his business.
“Ilang mga bana nadakpan bahin ra gihapon his drug. Sila maoy ni continue and paduwa in a butang in a bana. In short, gihimo silag bodega sa nga butang, silay gisaligan nga mag kupot sa butang sa ilahang asawa,” he added.
(Husbands there were arrested for illegal drugs. They took over the operation of their husbands. In short, they are exploited to store, they are trusted to guard their husbands’ important assets.)
However, Pasquin said, he has yet to determine how long Ramirez has been involved in the illegal drug trade.
They also have minimal information about the identity of other members of the group.
But what they know right now is very valuable information that will help them in their ongoing investigation of other illegal drug players here.
During their investigation, they learned that Ramirez transacts online and does not receive cash payments.
She received instructions from her husband as to the time and place of delivery. She would then send Sanchez to make the delivery.
According to Pasquin, Ramirez can distribute 50 to 100 grams of “shabu” per week to customers at Barangays Lorega and Hipodromo in Cebu City.
Pasquin said that although Ramirez was not on their medication list, they received information about her alleged involvement in her husband’s operation.
Drug trafficking minors
Based on their investigation, Pasquin said, members of the group also use minors for their drug dealers.
He said that Sanchez, for example, had worked as a runner since he was still a minor.
“Mao nay naka meet between the nga naa pami long time action officers in the case monitoring phase. Nahibaw an namo nga sya maoy tigtagak gyud diay sa butang. In short, the runner sya sa babaye”, Pasquin said.
(He (Sanchez) meets our action officer back when we were still doing case surveillance. We learned he’s the runner. Anyway, he’s the peddler’s runner. (Ramirez).)
Pasquin said it took them a week before they could finally deal with Ramirez.
He said some peddlers prefer to use minors as drug dealers because they are not sent to jail when caught. Instead, they are sent to the Operation Second Chance facility at Barangay Kalunasan.
Based on his observation, Pasquin said most of the minors who engage in these illegal activities are 13 or 14 and older.
And in most cases, they are exploited by peddlers to deliver a particular item without telling them what it is.
Pasquin said the kids might not mind working for these drug dealers as long as they earn.
LILY: NBI-7 alarmed by presence of toddlers in Punta Princesa drug lair
Subscribe to our regional newsletter
Warning: Comments uploaded to this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of the management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem inconsistent with our editorial standards.