Surveillance up vs. entry of illegal drugs in Surigao Port

By Alexander Lopez

September 25, 2023, 5:21 pm

BUTUAN CITY – The Police Regional Office in the Caraga Region (PRO-13) has intensified its surveillance operations at the Lipata Port in Surigao City following a series of seizures of millions worth of illegal drugs in less than a month.

The port in Surigao serves as the primary entry point for passenger sea vessels and roll-on/roll-off ships traveling to Mindanao from Visayas and Luzon.

On Saturday, authorities seized over PHP1.5 million worth of illegal drugs and arrested three suspects in Barangay Taft, Surigao City.
“It’s the third big haul authorities made in less than a month. We are intensifying surveillance operations considering that Surigao port is the main entry in the Caraga Region and the rest of Mindanao from Visayas and Luzon,” Maj. Jennifer Ometer, PRO-13 information chief, said in a phone interview Monday.

Ometer identified only the suspects through their aliases as Juhair, 30; Bulaw, 37; and Najeb, 34; all residents of Lanao del Sur.

PRO-13 is closely working with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in the Caraga Region, the Philippine Coast Guard, and the Philippine Port Authority on the matter, the police official added.

“We are still investigating the suspects, and we are not yet revealing their true identities in public,” she said, adding that the trio yielded a total of 230.5 grams of shabu during the buy-bust.

On Aug. 29, PRO-13 seized two kilos of shabu worth PHP13.6 million in a buy-bust at the Surigao Port and arrested three suspects, two of whom were residents of Dasmariñas, Cavite, and the other from Lala, Lanao del Norte.

On Sept. 13, another buy-bust was conducted in Barangay Sabang, Surigao City which resulted in the arrest of a food delivery driver who yielded 1.1 kilos of shabu worth PHP7.4 million.

In a statement, PRO-13 director Brig. Gen. Kirby John Kraft said the three arrested individuals on Saturday have links with the suspects arrested on Aug. 29 at the Surigao Port. (PNA)