Two big-time pushers were arrested by operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) during a buy-bust operation inside a shopping mall in Manila on October 15, 2014.

PDEA Director General Undersecretary Arturo G. Cacdac, Jr. identified the suspects as Jamil Gote y Sialbo, 18 years old; and Sainara Tampugao y Binatara, 31, a female.  Both are unemployed and residents of No. 152 Palanca Street, Barangay 648 Zone 67, Quiapo, Manila.

At around 7:30 pm, a drug transaction between the suspects and a PDEA undercover agent posing as a buyer was hatched at a popular fast food restaurant inside a shopping mall along San Marcelino in Manila, to facilitate the sale of 100 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, contained inside a knot-tied transparent plastic ice bag.

After Gote and Tampugao received the marked money in exchange for the illegal drug, elements of PDEA Regional Office-National Capital Region (PDEA RO-NCR) under Atty. Jacquelyn De Guzman immediately pounced on them.

Recent entrapment operations by PDEA revealed that shopping malls, particularly fast food restaurants, are being used as choice venues for drug transactions.

“Illegal drug transactions are actually happening in common dining areas because the place is bustling with dining people and where illegal drugs can be exchanged discreetly without attracting attention,” Cacdac said.

The suspects will be charged for violation of Section 5 (Sale of Dangerous Drugs), Article II of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.