Nurse, cohort nabbed in GenSan drug bust

Police arrested two target-listed “drug pushers,” one of them a registered nurse, during a buy-bust operation in a village in General Santos City on Tuesday afternoon.

Capt. Robert Fores, chief of the city police drug enforcement unit, identified the suspects as Michael Bartolaba alias “Michael,” 37, and Ruben Estafon Jr. alias “Jokjok,” 26, both included in the city’s drug watch list.

He said the two were nabbed around 1:15 p.m. at the vicinity of Purok Pag-asa in Barangay Mabuhay after selling a sachet of suspected shabu worth PHP580 to a police officer who posed as a buyer.

In a follow-up search, he said the suspects yielded another sachet of suspected shabu with an estimated street value of PHP1,060.

Fores said Bartolaba had worked as a nurse in a local hospital but got hooked into illegal drugs after supposedly getting depressed due to a failed relationship. He said the suspect was arrested and detained in 2016 for selling and possession of shabu but was released after posting bail.

“He eventually resumed his illegal activities so we subjected him to surveillance operations and finally collared him again,” he said in an interview.

Fores said Estafon was also a known drug pusher and has a pending homicide case.

He said the two will be charged with violation of Sections 5 and 11 or selling and possession of dangerous drugs, under Article II of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. (By Richelyn Gubalani, PNA)

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