Anti-drug enforcers catch barangay official in buy-bust dragnet


GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Feb. 25 — An elected barangay official in Banga town in South Cotabato was arrested by anti-drug operatives in a buy-bust operation in the area late Tuesday night.

The suspect was identified as Emmanuel Recto Malala, 36, an incumbent councilor of Barangay Improgo in Banga according to Region 12 Public information officer of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) agent Vince Lachica,

The suspect was nabbed at his residence around 10:20 p.m. after allegedly selling a sachet of metamphetamine hydrocholoride or shabu to a PDEA agent who acted as a buyer, according to Lachica.

Recovered from the suspect were four small plastic packs containing a gram of suspected shabu with a value of P7,500 and P500 marked money.

“We earlier subjected the suspect to casing and surveillance after we received a tip from a local informant about his illegal activities,” he said.

Prior to the operation, Lachica said they conducted several test-buys on the suspect which yielded positive.

“We tagged him as a priority target since he is actively involved in the selling of shabu and he’s an elected official at the same time,” he said.

Lachica said the suspect, who is currently detained at the PDEA regional office here. Malala will be charged for selling and possession of illegal drugs.

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