Surgeon, gov’t official fall in drug-bust in Davao

DAVAO CITY — A medical surgeon and a provincial environment officer of Albay were arrested in a illegal drug operation conducted by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 11 on Tuesday afternoon in Davao City.

The two suspects were identified as Dr. Stephen So Tay, a surgeon of the Metro Davao Medical Center, and Benjamin Jaraplasan Medel, chief Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of the Department of Natural Resources regional office 5, Legaspi, Albay.

The 56-year-old Tay and Medel were caught inside the residence of Tay on No 3, Marigold Street, San Pedro Village, Davao City. San Pedro Village is a high-end subdivision.

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Medel, resident of Teachers Village, Legaspi City, Albay, is in Davao City to attend a seminar.

Medel was invited to a pot session by Tay to his residence. Both are fraternity brothers from UP Los Banos.

PDEA 11 officer-in-charge, Agent Naravy Duquiatan, said both are considered high-value targets.

Tay is the son of the owner of the VS Tay, a wholesale and retailer of school supplies.

Duquiatan said the operatives also confiscated from the possession of Tay about five grams of suspected shabu and one grenade.

The operatives also took samples of medicines found inside Tay’s house.

Duquiatan said the estimated value of the confiscated drugs is about P60,000.

PDEA 11 legal officer Ben Joseph Tesiorna said Medel and Tay also tested positive of drug use.

Tesiorna said Tay has been under surveillance.

He said Tay has been in the radar of PDEA as he is also involved in selling drugs.

Tesiorna said PDEA has no information yet if Medel is also a pusher. It happened that Medel was in the company of Tay when PDEA operated, he said.

According to Tesiorna, the house of Tay has been habitually used as drug den.

As per intelligence report, Tay allegedly swaps sex for drugs as part of his modus operandi.

Meanwhile, PDEA has recorded 1,094 arrests from January to September, this year. This was the result of 908 operations.

In the same period, PDEA also recorded 1,671 grams of shabu and 6,000 grams of marijuana with an estimated value of P8 million.
There are 2,107 cases filed in different courts for violation of the dangerous drugs law. (Lilian C. Mellejor/PNA)



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