Lawyer nabbed

Buy-bust at Bajada apartelle
AN ALLEGED drug-pushing lawyer was arrested by agents of Sta. Ana Police in a buy-bust operation inside an apartelle in Barrio Obrero at 2:05 a.m. yesterday.

Chief Inspector Hamlet Lerios, the precinct commander, identified the suspect as Atty. Lorenzo Ballesteros Ta-asan III, 48, of Margarita Village in Bajada.

The suspect, admitted to the bar in 2004 with roll number 48711, is an associate lawyer of Taasan Law Office, located at Sta. Ana Avenue Corner Lapu-Lapu Street.

Lerios said the lawyer was arrested in a buy-bust operation conducted inside the Big Ben’s Apartelle located at Lacson Street in Barrio Obrero, Barangay 20-B at 2:05 a.m. yesterday.

Ta-asan gave a sachet of shabu to a police undercover in exchange of money, the police commander said.

Aside from the P500 marked money, seized from the lawyer were nine sachets of suspected shabu, weighing around 4.08 grams, worth P14,000.

Lerios said they conducted a surveillance against the lawyer after his name cropped up in their previous anti-illegal drug operations. After a weeklong surveillance, police then staged the buy-bust operation.

Ta-asan is now detained at Sta. Ana Police Station as investigators are preparing a case for violation of RA 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002).

Fair trial

Lawyer Caesar Europa, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) governor of Eastern Mindanao Region, has called for fair trial in Ta-asan case.

“While I must state that the Integrated Bar of the Philippines will never condone or countenance any criminal activity on the part of any of its members, every person is entitled to the presumption of innocence and the right to due process and this, of course, includes lawyers,” Europa said.

Another one

Meanwhile, another alleged drug pusher was also arrested in a buy-bust operation conducted in Gold Land Subdivision, Barangay Bago Aplaya, Talomo District at 10:40 p.m. on Wednesday.

Chief Inspector Ronald Lao, the precinct commander of Toril Police, said Rafael delos Santos Pondevida alias Raffy, 29, unemployed, was arrested after he handed over two small sachets of shabu in exhange of P1,000.

The suspect initially eluded arrest as he sped off his get-away motorcycle after sensing that he was dealing with a police operative.

But during the chase, Pondevida bumped into the right side body of the city-owned KIA Pride Seda type vehicle driven by SPO3 Danilo Daquigan.

Aside from the drugs and the marked money, police also seized the motorcycle and a cellular phone.

The suspect is now detained at Toril Police Precinct.