PDEA-Central Visayas nabs drug den ‘owner,’ real estate agent, 6 ‘junkies’

WITH the number of people who frequented his home, the owner of a house in Barangay Kamputhaw, Cebu City could have started a manpower agency.

On Wednesday afternoon, July 14, 2021, the house of Ronilo Palparan, a widower, was teeming with people from all walks of life—Walter Empenida, a steel fabricator; Joselito Dinglas, a painter; Giocarlo Lumasag, a call center agent; Dante Rivera, a food delivery driver.

But Palparan’s house is not an agency. It did not attract the Department of Labor and Employment. Instead, it drew the law enforcers from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 7 to conduct a bust at 2:30 p.m. last Wednesday.

The house, the PDEA 7 said, was a drug den, and it was maintained by Palparan, 52.

Empenida, 46; Dinglas, 39; Lumasag, 25; and Rivera, 25; were reportedly junkies. They got their kicks by buying illegal drugs from Palparan and inhaling the banned stuff inside the drug den.

They were caught along with Palparan, Carmel Cabrera Galgo, 23, and Roderick Lumba, 47.

A user reportedly pays P20 to Palparan so he could take a hit inside the house, which is located in Kamputhaw’s interior.

A suspicious neighbor reported Palparan to the PDEA 7, which later put the house on surveillance for two weeks.

After confirming Palparan’s illegal activities, the drug bust was hatched, said PDEA 7 information officer Leia Alcantara.

Palparan reportedly started his clandestine activities about a year ago.

He later ratted out his alleged supplier to the PDEA 7—a real estate agent from Lapu-Lapu City.

At 11:55 p.m., the alleged supplier, Melissa Solitario, 41, was caught by the PDEA 7 agents in Barangay Cubacub, Mandaue City.

The PDEA 7 seized 11 packets containing what the agency described as shabu worth P74,800, including the buy-bust money, the marked bills used by an undercover agent in transacting with Palparan. Agents also confiscated devices used by the junkies in inhaling shabu.

From Solitario, a 50-gram pack of “shabu” worth P340,800 was seized.

Alcantara said Solitario’s operations are provincewide.

The investigation on her illegal activities is still ongoing, Alcantara said.

The suspects will be charged with violating Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. They refused to issue any statement regarding their arrest. (KAL/From AYB)