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Poor man’s coke continues to swirl amid quarantines; Tokhang claims suspected high-value suspect but Cebu druglord slips through

BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The flow of poor man’s cocaine or meth, like essential goods, continues unchecked here, with supply coming in from other regions, a ranking police officer here said.

“The demand continues,” Col. Henry Biñas, local police chief said, told DNX a day after an alleged druglord from Cebu province, Jeniffer Mercader, escaped a police operation, and authorities seized P .3 million worth of suspected meth.

One of her companions, however, was killed in a firefight while seven others were captured.

The City Drug Enforcement Unit identified the fatality as Jose Tolete Paterio alias Pat Tori who the CDEU reported to have “fired upon the operatives” which made the anti-drug operatives to shoot him.

The buy-bust was conducted in the sub-village of Florence Ville in the seaside village of Tangub in the southern part of the city, 8pm Thursday, 28 August.

Also captured in the operation were the suspected cohorts of Mercader who police identified as Angel Villanueva aka Angloy, 37, of East Homes 3 Fortune Town; Janting Monlido aka Janjan, 35, of Matahum St., Tangub; Dante Casiple aka Dante, 33, of 6th Road, Villamonte;

Jose Villanueva Jr. aka Nonoy, 46, of Raymund St., Sampaguita 3, Singcang Airport; Denny Rubaton aka Denny, 38, of Rodriguez Baybay, Village 35; Kenjie Bais aka Kenjie, of Prk 2, Magsungay, Singcang Airport; and Arjie Aghon aka Jeboy, 26, of Paho North sub-village, Taloc village.

Except for Aghon who is from Bago City, all the other suspects are from here.

Mercader, local spokesman Lt. Col. Ariel Pico said, is a high-value individual who traffics “large amounts” of suspected meth in the Visayas.

Biñas said Mercader sources drugs from Cebu and Ozamis where the Parojinog drug group used to operate.

It was not immediately known how Mercader was able to escape authorities.

Julius D. Mariveles
Julius D. Mariveles
An amateur cook who has a mean version of humba, the author has recently tried to make mole negra, the Mexican sauce he learned by watching shows of master chef Rick Bayless. A journalist since 19, he has worked in the newsrooms of radio, local papers, and Manila-based news organizations. A stroke survivor, he now serves as executive editor of DNX.

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