COTABATO CITY – Nine suspected drug peddlers were arrested and more than 1.15 kg. of suspected shabu with an estimated street value of PHP7.84 million were seized during separate anti-drug operations here in the past two days, a government inter-agency task force here said Saturday.

In a statement, Cotabato City Mayor Bruce Matabalao, also head of the Inter-Agency Task Force Kutawato (IATFK), said the latest drug sting was launched along LR Sebastian Street in Barangay Rosary Heights 10 on Friday afternoon.

“The IATFK seized PHP7.8 million worth of suspected shabu and arrested three persons during the 3 p.m. anti-drug buy-bust operation,” he said.

Director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PDEA-BARMM) Christian Frivaldo identified the arrested suspects as Komini Mama, 31, of Cotabato City; and Kasan Abdul, 31, and Yasser Sabal, 36, both of Maguindanao del Norte.

Seized from the suspects were 1.15 kg. of suspected shabu, the buy-bust money, and a motorbike.

“The distribution of prohibited drugs in the city had been busted,” the IATFK said.

A suspect managed to elude arrest and remains the subject of a manhunt.

The arrested suspects are now detained at the PDEA-BARMM detention facility in this city while charges are being prepared against them.

On Thursday, the IATFK also arrested six persons and dismantled a drug den during an anti-drug operation in Barangay Bagua Mother, also in this city.

Authorities identified the arrested suspects as drug den owner Jennifer Pradi Maturan-Ali and her clients Abduladzis Dandang Ali, Pagpag Lumabao, Sahid Linkuan, Esrafil Dading, and Akmad Giok, all residents of Cotabato City.

Another suspect, Mentiok Ali, escaped during the operation. Suspected shabu valued at about PHP40,000, buy-bust money, mobile phones, and identification cards were confiscated from the suspects. (PNA)