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Magazine editor, 3 pals caught with P1-M drugs

By ALEXANDRIA SAN JUAN

A magazine editor and her three companions were arrested yesterday morning after police seized from them P1 million worth of party drugs in an entrapment operation in Quezon City.

Chief Superintendent Guillermo Eleazar, Quezon City Police District (QCPD) director, identified the suspects as Nina Recio, 27, a men’s magazine editor; Michael Carag, 22, both residents of Pasig City; Sarah Sibayan, 25, of Caloocan City; and Dianne Estrella, 27, a resident of Fairview, Quezon City.

Eleazar said the suspects were alleged users and sellers of illegal drugs, mostly party drugs, in Metro Manila.

Members of the QCPD Drug Enforcement Unit led by Chief Inspector Ferdinand Mendoza, Kamuning Police Station (PS-10), and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-National Capital Region Office conducted the buy-bust operation against the four after a month of surveillance.

According to Mendoza, they learned of the suspects’ illegal activities even before the Philippine National Police was removed from the campaign against illegal drugs.

When they established a contact with Recio, anti-drug operatives immediately carried out the sting at around 7:45 a.m. on New Year’s eve in front of a Chinese restaurant on Timog Avenue.

Upon receiving the P100,000 marked money from the poseur-buyer, responding officers collared the four who were all inside a white Mazda Sedan with plate number ABE 7567 which, police said, is always used by the suspects in transporting illegal drugs.

Operatives confiscated from them 20 sachets containing 30 grams of cocaine with an estimated street value of P300,000; 200 pieces of ecstacy tablet worth P500,000;four bottles of liquid ecstacy amounting to P200,000, and cash which police said was earned from selling illegal drugs.

Eleazar said they suspect that the seized drugs were intended for party-goers who will celebrate New Year.

Meanwhile, National Capital Region Police Office chief Oscar Albayalde, who was also present during the press briefing, revealed that Recio used to be the live-in partner of Raul Cisneros who was arrested in a condominium in Taguig City in September 2016 during a series of buy-bust operations.

Cisneros allegedly supplied party drugs to clients of high-end bars in Taguig and Makati. Police seized from him at least 1,100 candy-like ecstacy pills in the form of various cartoon characters.

The arrested drug personalities denied allegations against them, but the three pointed to Recio as their lead supplier.

Recio, on the other hand, denied selling illegal drugs.

The four are now detained at the Camp Karingal in Quezon City as drug-related charges are being readied against them.

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