P6.8-M shabu seized in Marawi drug buy-bust 1
P6.8-M shabu seized in Marawi drug buy-bust 2

SEIZED. Anti-narcotic agents, assisted by Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra (in white polo shirt), conduct an accounting of some PHP6.8 million worth of suspected shabu, drug paraphernalia, mobile phones and other items confiscated from two suspected drug peddlers. The two were busted in an operation in Marawi City on Thursday (August 22, 2019).  (Photo courtesy of PDEA-BARMM)

COTABATO CITY — After several days of surveillance, anti-narcotics operatives arrested on Thursday afternoon two suspected big-time drug peddlers in Marawi City and seized some PHP6.8 million worth of illegal drugs.

Director Juvenal Azurin of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PDEA-BARMM) identified the suspects as Alexander Aliponto, 45, of Tamparan, Lanao del Sur, and Adam Pandiin, 42, a resident Marawi City.

Azurin said the suspects were immediately handcuffed after one of them handed over an estimated one kilogram of suspected shabu to a poseur-buyer carrying a paper bag with PHP2.2 million worth of “boodle money”.

“Boodle money” consists of a few original Philippine paper bills and bundles of photocopied money bills.

Azurin said the drug buy-bust transpired along Amai Pakpak Avenue in Barangay Poblacion, Marawi City at about 3:30 p.m.

“They were our high-value targets. We have been tailing them for several days already,” Azurin told reporters in a phone interview Friday.

He said the suspects tried to back off after sensing they were dealing with a poseur buyer but were immediately handcuffed by PDEA agents.

Soldiers and police officers who stayed a few meters away from the deal site quickly surrounded the duo.

Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra, together with other local officials, came to the scene and lauded the successful operation.

Teams from the local police and Army’s 103rd Army Brigade backed the PDEA operatives during the conduct of the operation. (PNA)