BACOLOD CITY – It was a scene straight out of the movies.
Like in Bourne Ultimatum, to be exact, where Jason Bourne led cops on a wild goose chase on rooftops in Tangiers.
Only this time the suspect, a PNP High-Value Target, fell to the cops.
When he went back to his house.
Police chief, Col. Henry Biñas, recounting the narrative of Station 3 chief, Police Major Ruel Culanag, told DNX Kenneth Jacosalem Apostol, 27, ran across rooftops of houses in the sub-village of Gonzaga in Taculing, a village under the jurisdiction of Police Station 6.
Apostol escaped arrest during the chase that stemmed from a buy-bust operation, which started around 1am, and led to the recovery of more than a kilo of suspected shabu worth an estimated P18 million.
The P18 million recovery is the biggest haul so far by the local police in its anti-drug operations under the Duterte government.
Biñas said the Drug Enforcement Operatives of Station 3 had already returned to their station but he ordered a continuation of hot pursuit operations.
“They got a lucky break,” Biñas said when assets reported that Apostol went back to his house.
Culanag scrambled his team to return to the place and “they were able to arrest Apostol,” Biñas added.
The operation, from the buy-bust to the arrest, took more than four hours.
He pointed out the seizure of more than a kilo of suspected meth was “incidental to a lawful arrest” after police found the plastic packs full of alleged shabu inside Apostol’s residence.
“It is a two-storey house with a lot of exits that lead out to the rooftops of his neighbors’ houses,” police spokesman, Lt. Col. Ariel Pico, told DNX.
Pico said while the area where Apostol lives is under Station 6, it was Police Station 3 assets that led to the discovery of the suspect’s operations.
“Masyado siya ka danlog (He is so slippery),” Pico described Apostol when asked why the suspect had not been arrested earlier despite the apparently large volume of illegal drugs he had been keeping.
Biñas had earlier told DNX that he had ordered a “cross-border” policy where stations can operate in each other’s areas in the conduct of buy-busts or other anti-drug operations. (READ: Hide and seek: Drug peddlers go digital, using “kabayo” as police go “borderless” to chase them)