Photo courtesy of PDEA HUC-CDO

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – A resident here was arrested on Monday, November 6, for allegedly transporting several pills of suspected party drug Ecstasy from Manila to Cagayan de Oro through Laguindingan International Airport.

Arrested was Ralph Martin Rafanan whom authorities took 17 pieces of pills believed to be Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (Ecstasy) with an estimated street value of P51,000.

The suspect was identified by Ben Calibre, an agent of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 10.

According to Calibre, Rafanan had just gotten off from the plane. Which arrived from Manila when PDEA operatives approached the latter.

PDEA 10 agents have previously learned that the suspect was carrying the pills before they confronted Rafanan at the airport. They said the suspect did not deny this.

Also, the agents were able to locate the Ecstasy pills through their drug-sniffing dog. They found the pills inside a small bottle.

Suspected courier

Calibre said Rafanan is a suspected courier and a user at the same time, per the suspect’s admission.

He said it was the first time that PDEA 10 has made an arrest related to Ecstacy, but he added, “we believe it has already been in circulation (in Cagayan de Oro for a while).”

Rafanan could be charged with illegal possession of drugs, Calibre said.

PDEA 10, Calibre said, is also searching for persons who are involved in the selling of the party drugs.

Rafanan’s legal counsel Dale Bryan Mordeno said they are working on posting a bail for his client.

Since PDEA has been authorized by President Rodrigo Duterte to carry out anti-drug campaign, Calibre said they have conducted an average of five operations a week.

PDEA 10 only has 12 agents in a city with about 7,000 drug personalities, but Calibre said that what they are doing is to prioritize their operations and tapped the officials in the barangays in their intelligence gathering. (

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