Nabbed high-profile drug suspects heavily guarded

COTABATO CITY — Agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PDEA-ARMM), backed by police personnel, are guarding tightly two drug personalities arrested with a total haul of PhP5 million worth of illegal drugs.

PDEA-ARMM Director Juvenal Azurin said the move was to ensure the two high-profile suspects — Raffy Osama, 22, and Mohammad Tuankali Macalimpas, 47 — are not rescued by comrades after they were collared in two separate anti-drug operations outside Cotabato City this week.

The PDEA-ARMM headquarters and detention facility is situated in this city.

Azurin said Osama, who trained anti-drug operation with PDEA-ARMM during his on-the-job training in August, is believed to belong to a big drug group operating in Maguindanao, Cotabato City and North Cotabato.

Macalimpas, on the other hand, is a member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Osama was arrested on Wednesday in Barangay Upper Capiton, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao after he handed over several sachets in drug buy bust operation.

Seized from him were PhP2.5 million worth of shabu in 10 huge sachets.

A day earlier, Macalimpas was nabbed with two others during a buy bust operation in Barangay Poblacion 3, Pigcawayan, North Cotabato. Seven big sachets of shabu worth PhP2.5 million, a hand gun and shabu paraphernalia were seized from their possession.

“They are both under heavy guard,” Azurin told reporters here adding that both are in their watchlist as high-value targets and that their arrest was carried out with the help of local residents and relatives.

“We are not taking chances, the possibility is high that their companions might rescue them,” Azurin added.

The two, now detained at the PDEA-ARMM lock up cell have been charge for violating Republic Act 9165 or Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. A separate charge for violation of RA 10591 or Illegal Possession of Firearms has been filed against Macalimpas after a hand gun was seized from him. Edwin Fernandez/

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