Alleged drug den near city hall faces closure

PDEA Region VI Photo

By Felipe V. Celino

ROXAS CITY, Capiz – A lodging house located a few meters away from the Roxas City Hall is facing closure after it was again involved in the illegal drug trade and use.

Mayor Ronnie Dadivas met with officials of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Roxas City PNP, and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Tuesday, Feb. 21, to check the status of its campaign against illegal drugs here.

This after seven persons were arrested Monday evening in a drug buy-bust operation conducted by PDEA-Capiz and Regional Special Enforcement Team Alpha of PDEA-6 regional office in a lodging house that allegedly served as a drug den.

The lodging house is located on Legaspi Street, Barangay IV, Roxas City, right at the back of City Hall.

Dadivas has directed the City Health Office(CHO), City Engineer’s Office(CEO), City Licensing Office and other concerned government agencies to check the lodging house’s business permit and compliance with building safety standards.

“We will be forced to close the said establishment should it fail to secure a proper permit to operate,” the mayor said.

The operatives identified the arrested individuals as Richelle Barredo, 39, of Dulangan, Pilar, Capiz; Carmelo Fritz Villareal, 18, of Malipayon Village, Brgy. Tiza; Teddy Berico, 40, of Brgy. Banica; Nicole Bienes, 19, of Brgy. Punta Tabuc; Stephen Mendoza, 37, of Brgy. Talon; and Jennyrose Alagon, 19, all of Roxas City; and Malph Ullang, 28, of Brgy. Pawa, Panay, Capiz.

The seven were charged for violation of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 before the City Prosecutors Office and are in the custody of the Roxas City Police Component.

The suspects also tested positive for illegal drug use.

Recovered from Barredo were seven sachets of suspected shabu and the marked money, while another sachet of suspected shabu was recovered from Villareal.

Aside from this, several drug paraphernalia were recovered from the suspects.

The suspect strongly denied owning the items recovered from them.

According to live-in partner suspects Ullang and Alagon, they checked into the lodging house because there was no available vehicle to Panay town.

The other suspects also offered the same reason.

PDEA-Capiz had raided the lodging house in the past months also for alleged illegal drug trading.