DAVAO ARREST. Naravy Duquiatan, officer-in-charge of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency 11, bares to media photographs of evidences to be used against the cases against two high-profile illegal drug suspects arrested on October 17 in Davao City. (Mick Basa / davaotoday.com)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A practicing surgeon in Davao City and a provincial environment chief from Albay province are now facing charges after they were caught holding a pot session on Tuesday, October 17.

Arrested on Tuesday were Stephen So Tay, a Davao-based surgeon at a hospital in Bajada, and Benjamin Medel, officer-in-charge of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office of Albay province.

The arrest was revealed to reporters on Wednesday, October 18, by Naravy Duquiatan, officer-in-charge of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 11.

According to Duquiatan, the two were caught in a buy bust operation around 5:30 pm in San Pedro Village, Buhangin here.

Medel was here to attend a convention at SMX Lanang. According to PDEA 11’s investigation, he was invited by Tay, allegedly his fraternity mate, to a pot session where authorities seized some 9 grams of suspected shabu and a fragmentation grenade.

She said the two are facing violations of Sections 5, 11, and 12 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act under Republic Act No. 9165 and illegal possession of explosives under Republic Act 9591.

Tay, based on investigation conducted by PDEA 11, is the son of the owner of a known manufacturer of office equipment and furniture, and was connected to “high-profile” drug personalities previously arrested in Davao City.

Frat mates

Lawyer Ben Joseph Tesiorna, PDEA 11’s legal officer, said Medel is a fraternity brother of Tay when they were still in college.

“Medel was invited by Tay to have a pot session, eh nagkataon nagkahulihan (but unfortunately there was an anti-drug operation),” Tesiorna said.
Tesiorna said the two were tested positive for drug use.

He said they have prior information that Tay’s residence was used as a drug den and it is also where he conducts illegal drug trade, including the selling of drugs to women in exchange of sex.

Meanwhile, the authorities are still investigating whether Medel was involved in drug selling.

If convicted, Duquiatan said they will file charges against Medel before the Ombudsman. (davaotoday.com)

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