Authorities arrested an army soldier and his cohorts on Saturday and seized P6.8 million worth of shabu following a buy-bust operation inside the parking lot of a Quezon City mall.
The arresting officers belonged to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Cebu led by Jasam Sy and the Batasan police station headed by Police Lt. Col. Romulus Gadaoni.
The suspect was identified as PFC Omar Pagayawan, 36, of Trece Martires, Cavite and his companions Amel Abdul, 30; Junaid Londay, 26, both from Barangay Tala, Caloocan City.
Seized from those suspects were one block of the suspected shabu, P1000 cash and 999,999 boodle money.
Following the arrest of the soldier, Army spokesman Col. Ramon Zagala said Pagayawan is facing dismissal.
“We hold all our personnel whether active soldiers or reservists to the highest standards of military discipline and professionalism. The Army Reserve Command will investigate this matter accordingly and if found guilty he will be expelled from the service,” Zagala said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Joint Task Force–National Capital Region (JTF-NCR) has clarified that Pagayawan served as a volunteer in one of the checkpoints and not an active personnel of the Army.
1st Lt. Arianne Bichara, JTF-NCR spokesman, bared they already requested the delisting of Pagayawan, a member of the Regional Community Defense Group whose voluntary duty in Pasay City ended on 15 June.
Pagayawan will be charged with violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, and usurpation of authority under Article 179 of the Revised Penal Code for the unauthorized wearing of a military uniform.
with KRISTINA MARALIT