Minors rescued from a suspected drug den

By Nelson Flores, Ll.B., MSCK

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SIX minors were recently rescued from a suspected drug den during the implementation of a search warrant by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the local police force in Muntinlupa City.

PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino, in a statement, said the minors, the youngest of whom is four years old, will be turned over to the City’s Office of the Department of Social and Welfare Development (DSWD). (Read More

Aquino said on July 17, at around 5:25 in the afternoon, operatives of the PDEA Regional Office-National Capital Region (PDEA RO-NCR) Southern District Office under Director Ismael G. Fajardo, Jr., Muntinlupa City Police Station and Southern Police District Office personnel implemented a search warrant in suspected drug den at 328 Alley Purok 1, Barangay Sucat, Muntinlupa City.

Arrested during the operation were Cristina Lopena y Curitana, 52 years old, the alleged drug den owner; Marlon Macatuggal y Jaral, 24, a paint artist; Mark Gil Patriarca y Lanuza, 35, also a paint artist; Dandrian Alvarez y Emano, 30, a helper; Michael Lopena y Jonos, 38, jobless; and Virgilio Valdrias y Pilapil, 30, all residents of Purok 1, Barangay Sucat, Muntilupa City; and Rejay Lazaga y Marino, 19, jobless, of Marcelo Green, Parañaque City.

The female Lopena is the reportedly the leader of the Muntinlupa City based Lopena Drug Group.

Seized from those arrested were 22 transparent plastic sachets containing more or less 30 grams of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, worth PhP204,000, 13 plastic bags containing dried marijuana leaves, weighing approximately 100 grams worth PhP12,000, three disposable lighters, aluminum foil strips with traces of suspected shabu residue, and one caliber .38 revolver, Aquino said.

Except for Cristina Lopena, who will be charged 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”, the rest of the suspects will be sued for violation of Section 7 (Visitors of a Drug Den) of RA 9165.

A separate case for violation of RA 10591, or The Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Act, will also be filed against Lopena.

(Read More


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Nelson Flores, J.D., MSCK
A former reporter of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Standard Today, and a regular columnist of the Metro Manila based daily tabloid newspaper Hataw; Nelson Flores is also the former Senior Associate Editor of the Houston based Fil-Am Press and former anchor of dzXL and dzRJ's weekend talk show Usaping Bayan. Mr. Flores has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Law degrees from the University of Santo Tomas and Adamson University and a holder of a study certificate from the Diocesan House of Studies, Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI). He is a Freemason and member of Reagan Lodge 1037 in Houston Heights under the jurisdiction of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Texas and a member of the Missionary Society of Christ the King (MSCK).

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