TARLAC CITY–Secretary Mel Senen S. Sarmiento of the Department of Interior and Local Government praised this city’s policemen who confiscated more than 100 grams of the banned methamphetamine hydro-chloride or shabu from a drug den in Sto. Cristo village here.

Sarmiento personally conveyed his gratitude to the city policemen when he inspected what was considered the biggest haul of shabu in their campaign against illegal drugs.

The drug den, where assorted drug paraphernalia was also seized, was believed owned by the the Chief Barangay Tanod Carlito Macapinlac who was arrested along with village policemen Rogelio Diaz and Dennis Macapinlac and 13 others.

They were nabbed in the area of Block 7 by the lawmen that includes operatives of Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency by virtue of a search warrant issued by Executive Judge Ramon D. Pamular.

Macapinlac scuffled with the operatives that caused injury to his face.

The drug den which is adjacent to the residence of Macapinlac was found littered with used aluminum foil with residue of Shabu, tooters, lighters and small lamp burners.

“It looks like the place has just been used in a pot session, ” PSI Randy P. Niegos, leader of the raiding team, said.

The suspects are in the Tarlac city police watch-list as target drug personalities. Charges have been filed against them before the City Prosecutor Office.

Sarmiento was in Tarlac to accompany his former boss at the DILG Mar Roxas who was then visiting the province. He arrived at the Tarlac City Police Office accompanied by Provincial Police Director Supt. Alex B. Sintin.

Sarmiento said that Region 3, which includes Tarlac, is the best performing region in the whole country with respect to fighting criminality by reducing the crime rate by 30 percent.

Sarmiento handed P10,000 to Sintin as reward money to the policemen.

Last September, the Tarlac Provincial Police Office conducted “One Time, Big Time Operation” at Block 3, San Nicolas village that resulted in the confiscation of more than 50 grams of shabu and the arrest of 20 persons including Big Mama, a notorious drug pusher in the city. Homer Teodoro/NothboundPH