Tokhang surrenderer falls in shabu bust

By: Jennifer P. Rendon

AN OPLAN Tokhang surrenderer was arrested in a buy-bust operation late evening of July 30, 2019 in Arevalo, Iloilo City.

Warren Abantao, 25, of Zone 12, Calaparan, Arevalo, was collared after selling a sachet of suspected shabu or crystal meth for P5,500.

Operatives from the PNP Regional Drug Enforcement Unit also recovered from Abantao 22 sachets of the same substance.

RDEU classified the suspect as a high value target (HVT) level 1 drug personality.

“While he’s a pedicab driver, he just did it to disguise his involvement in illegal drugs,” an RDEU team leader said.

Abantao’s HVT classification was due to his alleged association with big-time drug pushers.

The RDEU team leader also mentioned a person who was the suspect’s main contact.

It was later found out that the contact is an inmate of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

Abantao is also the cousin of Jovern Abantao who is now detained at the New Bilibid Prison.

During a surprise drug test at BJMP-District Jail in Barangay Nanga, Pototan, Iloilo almost two years ago, Jovern tested positive for drug use.

It remains unclear if Warren and Jovern belong to one drug group.

Abantao is now detained and will be charged for violation of Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2012).

Oplan Tokhang is the anti-illegal drugs campaign of the PNP. Coined from the words toktok (knock) and hangyo (ask), the program deployed police officers who literally knocked on the doors of suspected drug dealers and asked them to surrender.

But killing of suspected drug pushers in police operations and in the hands of unidentified suspects have marred Oplan Tokhang.