Former PO2 Julieto “Batang” Karaan who last made Bohol’s headlines in the late 1990s as one of Tagbilaran City’s top drug personalities was arrested for the third time for drug charges in Cortes town on Thursday afternoon.
According to Cortes police chief Lt. Girly Tulop, a composite police team arrested Karaan during a buy-bust operation at a cemetery near the suspect’s rented apartment in Barangay Dela Paz.
He was allegedly caught in possession of seven packets of shabu which were estimated to be worth P54,400.
Tulop said Batang who has been staying in Cortes for two months and has been intermittently living in the town in the past years is deemed a high-value target in the provincial police’s drug watch list.
Police received reports of Karaan’s alleged illegal drug activities in several other towns other than Cortes prior to his arrest.
“Bag-ohay lang ni siya nibalik sa Cortes kay kadtong ni-agi ni undang ni siyag rent sa iyang apartment unya nibalhin napud og lain kay allegedly wa kunoy ikabayad unya karon nibalik na pud siya,” said Tulop.
Batang, who joined the Philippine Constabulary in 1988 before going AWOL (absent without leave), was last arrested in a drug buy-bust operation in Tagbilaran City in June, 2017.
According to Tulop, Karaan was released from jail after posting bail.
In August of 1999, Karaan was collared in Cebu City by joint police operatives of Bohol’s and Central Visayas’s intelligence units.
He was among 14 drug personalities who were hunted down by authorities amid an all-out war on illegal drugs launched by then Tagbilaran City police chief Supt. Louie Oppus.
Following his arrest, Karaan was convicted of drug charges in 2007.
He was sent to the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City and then transferred to the Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Mindoro before he was released in February, 2017.
Karaan reportedly stayed in Cebu for a while before returning to Bohol. (with A. Doydora)