PDEA eyes 10 gov’t workers in drug trade

THE REGIONAL Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is closely monitoring about 10 government employees who are engaged in illegal drug activities in the region.

 This as the PDEA arrested a barangay councilor for drug trade.

 Director Antonio Rivera, in an interview yesterday, said they are monitoring other barangay councilors, and some former policemen and soldiers who are into the illegal trade.

 “There are some (government workers). I can’t tell the particular places (where they are assigned),” Rivera said

 Rivera said the elected officials that they have monitored are only in the barangay level.

 On Monday, the PDEA filed drug and gun charges against barangay councilor Arnold Maalat of Communal, Buhangin District. Maalat is a former chair of the said barangay.

 The PDEA arrested Maalat in a buy-bust operation conducted at the said barangay around 9 a.m. on Sunday.

 Confiscated from his possession were about 40 grams of illegal drugs worth P200,000, a 9mm pistol and nine ammunitions of M203 grenade launcher.

 Rivera said Maalat, a high-value target, was placed under surveillance for a long time.

 “As what I’ve said we are prioritizing on high-value targets,” he added.

 Maalat declined to answer media inquiry.

 Since October, the PDEA XI has already arrested a number of government employees, including an environment officer, soldiers and police officers.

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