MLANG, North Cotabato, Feb. 28 (Philippine News Agency) -- The local government said it has neutralized the leader of a gang who supplied prohibited drugs in remote villages here with the arrest of a major supplier.
Mayor Joselito Pinol said the arrest of Joel Agustin, a resident of Sitio Pinantao, Barangay Sudapin, Kidapawan City, solved the proliferation of methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as shabu in Mlang's remote villages.
Agustin was nabbed with about P20,000 worth of heat-sealed shabu during a buy bust operation at 10 p.m. Thursday in Barangay Dugung.
Pinol said Agustin has long been placed under tight surveillance by Mlang police operatives for supplying shabu from Kidapawan City and Kabacan, North Cotabato.
"Our patience paid off, we have been closely watching this man for quite sometime and his arrest would hopefully stop the distribution of shabu in Mlang," Pinol told reporters.
According to Pinol, the prohibited substance are only peddled in Mlang but its supplier are from nearby Kidapawan City, in Matalam or in Kabacan, all in North Cotabato.
There were also reports that drugs are peddled by pushers from nearby Buluan, Datu Paglas and other Maguindanao towns.
"Big time suppliers do not come here and make our town trans-shipment point, those coming here are small fry that carry five to 10 sachets of shabu because they know we mean business here," Pinol said even as he declared serious campaign against prohibited drugs.
Pinol also lauded the village officials and the community in general for providing the local authorities with right and fast information about the pushers that sells drugs in town.
While community participation was instrumental in the neutralization of lawless elements and drug peddlers in town, Pinol urged the community to remain vigilant and cooperative with the local authorities to prevent crimes and drug addiction.
Mlang is a first class municipality in the province of North Cotabato, a population of 113,366 people in 22,573 households as of 2010 census. (PNA)