Farmer or pusher? Drug suspect accuses PDEA of ‘planting’ shabu

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BY RUBY P. SILUBRICO
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ILOILO City – A drug pushing suspect arrested in a buy-bust operation yesterday in Barangay Guinobatan, Leganes, Iloilo accused the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) of “planting” the sachets of shabu recovered from him.

Fifty-seven-year-old farmer Octavio Juanga, a murder convict released from the New Bilibid Prison in 2015, insisted that farming was his livelihood. He denied selling shabu.

Juanga was arrested around 8 a.m. According to PDEA, an “asset” bought from the suspect a sachet of shabu for P1,000.

Four more sachets valued at P4,000 were found in the suspect’s possession, said Deputy Regional Director Levi Ortiz.

He described Juanga as a “high-value target” and linked the man to slain suspected drug lord Melvin “Boyet” Odicta Sr.

At the PDEA Region 6 detention cell where he was taken, Juanga confirmed knowing Odicta but denied working for him.

He said they got to know each other at the New Bilibid Prison.

Odicta was convicted for illegal drug possession in 1989 and released in 1995.

After Juanga was freed in 2015, he reached out to his friend Odicta and worked for the suspected drug lord as a hit man, according to Ortiz.

“After Odicta’s death, he engaged in illegal drugs kasi wala na siyang hanap-buhay,” the PDEA deputy director said.
Unidentified gunmen shot Odicta to death August last year in Barangay Caticlan, Malay, Aklan.

“Nagapanguma ‘ko ‘ya. Wala ‘ko ga-engage sa illegal drugs. Kilala ko si Odicta pero wala nagakahulugan nga nagabaligya man ‘ko drugs,” insisted Juanga.

According to Ortiz, Juanga was among the sources of shabu in Leganes.

Juanga faces a charge for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002./PN
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