Bus drivers’ ‘shabu supplier’ nabbed at Muntinlupa terminal

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MANILA, Philippines–A man who allegedly sold drugs to provincial bus drivers looking for a way to stay awake behind the wheel was arrested in Muntinlupa City on Wednesday.

Emmanuel “Bagwis” Bendoval, a Barangay (village) Alabang resident who turned to drug dealing after losing his job as a security guard, was caught in a buy-bust operation by members of the Philippine National Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (PNP-AIDSOTF) at the South Station Transport Terminal.

The transport hub on Alabang-Zapote Road is mainly for jeepneys, buses, shuttle vans, taxi cabs and tricycles, but the police said the suspect’s customers were provincial bus drivers plying Southern Luzon routes.

PNP-AIDSOTF spokesman Chief Insp. Roque Merdegia Jr. said they received tips about the suspect through text messages from concerned citizens a month ago.

The messages said the bus drivers and conductors would buy shabu from Bendoval and hold drug sessions inside their buses at night or in the wee hours of the morning.

Merdegia urged bus operators to check on their drivers by conducting drug tests at least twice a year. “The passengers are the ones in danger if a driver is under the influence [of drugs],” he added.

Bendoval was arrested after he sold P500 worth of shabu, or methamphetamine hydrochloride, to an undercover policeman. Eight sachets of the drug were also recovered from him, Merdegia said.

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