Big-time drug syndicate nabbed in Maguindanao


MAGUINDANAO, Philippines – Anti-narcotics operatives on Wednesday broke the spine of a big drug syndicate in Maguindanao’s controversial Shariff Aguak town in a law-enforcement operation aided by local officials.

Personnel of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) arrested Datu Blah Duma and his wife, Lukaya, and four others in a raid Wednesday at the town proper of Shariff Aguak.

Duma is touted as a large-scale distributor of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) in the municipality and operates a distribution network that spans through other towns in the second district of Maguindanao.

The agents of PDEA-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) recovered from Duma’s hideout some 40,000 worth of shabu, assorted firearms, a shoulder-fire grenade launcher and drug sniffing paraphernalia.

The newly-elected mayor of Shariff Aguak, Marop Ampatuan, said he is thankful to PDEA-ARMM for having carried out the raid that resulted to the arrest of Duma.

He said they are ready to help in the agency’s continuing crackdown against drug traffickers in the municipality.

Duma lost in his bid for a seat in the municipal council of Shariff Aguak during the May 9 local elections.

Shariff Aguak, hometown of the Ampatuan clan, was rocked by election-related hostilities during the recent campaign period and after the May 9 polls.