OLONGAPO CITY: Col. Randy Arceo, Olongapo City Police Office director, has been relieved of his official duties effective January 15 because police officers under his lead were allegedly involved in a shabu factory.
Police Regional Office 3 Director BGen. Valeriano de Leon announced this on Friday, as the suspects were under his command.
De Leon also ordered the dismantling of the Station Drug Enforcement Unit (SDEU) of Olongapo Police Station 2, where the four policemen implicated – SDEU chief Lt. Reynato Basa Jr., Cpl. Gino dela Cruz, Cpl. Edesyr Victor Alipio and Cpl. Godfrey Duclayan Parentela — were assigned.
The four policemen were arrested by the joint efforts of the Special Enforcement Service of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police for allegedly “protecting” the shabu factory and for supposed involvement in the illegal drug distribution.
Jericho Dabu, a civilian and target of the buy-bust, was also arrested.
PDEA Regional Office 3 Director Adrian Alvarino said Dabu was the subject of the buy-bust, conducted at 336B Sangley Loop, Finback, West Kalayaan, Subic Bay Freeport on Jan. 15, 2021 at around 1:00 a.m.
Dabu, however, ran inside the house when he sensed he was dealing with policemen.
Pursuing agents followed him and discovered the “kitchen-type” shabu laboratory.
Some 300 grams of repacked high-grade shabu with an estimated value of P5 million were confiscated in the discovered drug laboratory.
Also during the anti-illegal drug operation, found inside the laboratory were Basa and his men, dela Cruz, Alipio and Parentela.
Alvarino said the arrested policemen were alleged “protectors” and distributors of illegal drugs in Olongapo City and nearby towns in Zambales.
The laboratory was described as producing 3 to 4 kilos of high-grade shabu daily.
The owner of the house, a Canadian identified as Timothy Hartley, reportedly the “cook” in the shabu lab, is now the subject of a manhunt operation.