Woman arrested in Cebu City hotel room for drug peddling

12/30/2010 - Police arrested a woman who tried to sell “shabu” worth P1.2 million inside a hotel room in uptown Cebu City at dawn yesterday.

Maria Teresita Gimenez, 35, of barangay Pakigne, Minglanilla town, was described by police as a suspected big-time drug pusher.

She is a cousin of Giovanne “Nanan” Gimenez, an elusive drug boss who was supposed to be the target of the police operation, said Supt. Paul Labra II, deputy city director for administration.

The buy-bust operation, which involved 200 grams of suspected shabu, took place past 3 a.m. in room 403 of Paragon Suites.

She was arrested by operatives of City Anti-Illegal Drugs Task Force (CAIDSOTF).

Labra said Nanan was the target but his cousin showed up instead.

Nanan was the subject of a 2001 botched operation of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) that ended up in the wounding of some employees of Plantation Bay.

Nanan was eventually arrested but he was later acquitted by the court for a string of drug cases.

At least eight packs of suspected shabu were taken from Teresita's possession. The packs were found inside a transparent plastic bag.

A P500 bill wrapped in a “boodle” or false wad of paper bills was used during the transaction.

The decoy buyer, PO3 Brazilio Borinaga, checked in the hotel as a guest and stayed there, where the suspect had agreed to deliver the drugs.

As soon as Teresita handed the packs of white crystals to the buyer, she was arrested.

Labra said Teresita had even asked the decoy for the sale to be done in Minglanilla town but police operatives pressed to consummate the deal in the hotel.

Teresita, who was described as separated from her husband, denied selling drugs to the police operative.

She said she was just picked up at her residence in Pakigne by policemen whom she refused to identify.

“Wa jud ko kahibaw ana, sir, kay padung ko sa akong ig-agaw (I don't anything about that. I was just on my way to a cousin's place),” she insisted.

She said the drugs were just given to her by someone at her residence.

Teresita said police showed to her the plastic bag where the “shabu” was found. She said she was forced to ride an unmarked police vehicle to the hotel and check in there where she was surprised to be told that she was the owner of shabu.

Labra, however, said it was normal for an arrested person to deny any wrongdoing.

He said it was Teresita who had offered to do the transaction in Pakigne.

Before she was arrested, police conducted surveillance for more than a week.

A source from Philippine Drug Enforcement Ageny (PDEA) said Gimenez's group was still operating even after the court exonerated Nanan.

Labra said a small sachet of shabu costs P400 where before it could be bought for only P200.

Earlier PDEA Regional Director Adrian Alvarino said he foresees that demand of illegal drugs would increase during holidays and the price would go up.

Senior Supt. Melvin Ramon Buenafe, Cebu City police chief, congratulated the police team for the operation.

Labra recently reported for duty to the CCPO after the end of his logistic management course in Camp Crame.

Last Oct. 2, PDEA agents seized almost a kilo of what they suspect to be shabu worth some P9 million in a buy-bust operation in the interior of Lopez St., Calamba, Cebu City.

Donald Soco, 32, and his girlfriend Antonia Lisondra, 24, both residents of A. Lopez Street were arrested.

On Nov. 9, police arrested a 25-year-old woman and confiscated a pack of shabu from Restbie Tampos in a room of Travelers' Lodge in barangay Carreta, Cebu City. The shabu was estimated to be worth P5 million.

Tampos said she was lured into selling drugs to support her child and a sickly grandmother.(Inquirer)

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