12 caught in ‘mobile pot session’ in Iloilo City

ILOILO CITY — A job contractor working for the city government here was fired after he was apprehended along with 11 others in a pot session inside a private vehicle in Barangay San Jose, Arevalo district here Wednesday afternoon.

City Administrator Lawyer Hernando Galvez on Thursday confirmed the termination of 37-year old Noel Uy from Brgy. General Hughes, City Proper district who ironically was assigned at the office of the Iloilo City Anti-Smoking Task Force (ICAST) for almost two years now.

His contract, which is renewed every month, was supposed to end this October 31.

“As directed before by Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, it was incorporated in the job contract that the services of a job contractor shall be immediately terminated upon commission of any offense or act, which if done by a regular employee is considered administrative offenses or punishable under the Revised Penal Code of any laws inclusive of the Republic Act 9165,” he said.

Meantime, ICAST executive director Iñigo Garingalao, saddened by what happened, immediately ordered all the remaining 24 employees under his office to also submit themselves to a drug test on Thursday following the incident.

He likewise ordered  the recall of all ICAST paraphernalia in the possession of Uy.

Garingalao said that Uy and other members of the task force were supposed to conduct an operation Wednesday afternoon. Uy also signed in their logbook but he was no longer around when the group was about to leave around 2:00 p.m.

He only heard over the radio that he was caught in a pot session inside a parked van along the circumferential road in Brgy. San Jose.

Uy was never subjected to the “Oplan Tokhang” of the Philippine National Police (PNP), he said.

“He is a non-smoker. Smoking is said to be the first substance to be abused before drugs although it is not a hard and fast rule,” Garingalao said.

Also arrested by the combined group of the Regional Drugs Enforcement Unit (RDEU) and Iloilo City Police Stations 5 and 6 were Hamlin Querubin, 40, from Brgy. Don Candido, Molo; Noel Dañocup, 36 of Alta Tierra Village, Giemar Ric Bachoco, 35 from Brgy. Jalandoni and Jessie Rey Cantana, 38 all from Jaro district; Ma. Georgina Therese Rosales, 30 from Brgy, Rizal, Lapaz; Troy Lacson, 27 and Paolo Gonzales, 32 all from Zarraga, Iloilo; Loreto Alison, 38 and Chino Alvarez from Oton town; and Ma.Salvacion Juanga, 41 and Rodolfo Juanga, 46 both from Dingle, Iloilo.

Querubin and Dañocup were the original subject of the buy-bust operation, which led to the arrest of the 10 other suspects who were in the alleged “mobile drug den”.

The operating team also recovered from Querubin, allegedly connected with the Prevendido Drug Group, 14 plastic sachets of suspected shabu.

The 12 suspects are detained at the lock up cell of the Arevalo Police Station.

They will be charged with violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. PNA-northboundasia.com