Town dad eludes arrest, village councilor falls in drug ops

DAVAO CITY — A municipal councilor managed to elude arrest while a barangay councilman was arrested when anti-narcotics operatives swooped down on the Davao Occidental town of Jose Abad Santos Friday to implement two separate drug-related search warrants.

Chief Superintendent Marcelo Morales, Police Regional Office (PRO)-11 chief, identified the targets of court-ordered searches for illegal drugs as Jose Abad Santos town Councilor Jessel Atay and Harold Mark Seteota, a council member of Barangay Butulan.

Morales said Atay managed to elude arrest when the raiding team arrived at his residence in Barangay Caburan at around 2:30 a.m.

During the search, Morales said, the raiding team composed of members of the Regional Drug Enforcement Unit (RDEU)-11, the Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RFMB)-11 and the local police seized four pieces of medium size heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets containing suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride or “shabu”.

Meanwhile, a separate raiding team arrested Seteota in his home and recovered six small heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets containing suspected shabu.

Morales said Atay and Seteota are considered “high-value targets”, who are among those listed on the drug watch-list for Davao Occidental.

“Our fight against illegal drugs chooses no one. Kahit sino ka pa, small-time o big time, tutugisin namin kayo dahil kasiraan kayo sa kapayapaan at kaunlaran ng ating bansa (Whoever you are, small or big time, we will hunt you because you destroy the peace and progress of the country),” the PRO-11 chief said.

Morales said appropriate charges have been filed against the two officials. Lilian C Mellejor/