POLICE arrested a woman with around P1.3 million worth of illegal drugs in her newly constructed home in Barangay Poblacion, Badian, Cebu Friday morning.
Jerami Matugas, also known as “Regine” or “Queen” to her customers and distributors, has developed a reputation as one of southern Cebu’s suppliers of shabu. Police said she was repacking 125 small, one medium and four big packs of white crystals in her room at 9:50 a.m. when they caught her.
She said she had supplied shabu to the 75-year-old grandmother arrested for having P236,000 worth of shabu in Carcar City eight days ago.
Beatrice Secretaria, 75, earlier said she got her supplies from “Queen” in Badian.
Operatives of the Regional Special Operations Group (ROSG) 7 arrested Matugas, 49, with a warrant issued by Regional Trial Court Branch 8 Judge Macaundas Hadjirasul.
The warrant was issued last March 2, when Matugas was first suspected of selling in her previous house in Mancao Village, Barangay Awayan, Carcar City.
The RSOG 7 did not know that the woman transferred to a “more comfortable” concrete house in Badian, which was reportedly built last February.
“We tried to locate her for monitoring in Carcar, but then, finally, we found her in Badian with a newly-built concrete house this morning,” said Senior Insp. Romeo Sentinta Jr. of RSOG 7.
Sentinta said they seized from Matugas an estimated 107 grams of white crystals, which could have been sold for at least P1,262,600, according to Dangerous Drugs Board estimates.
He said the woman’s scope of operations ranges from Carcar City to the town of Alegria.
Matugas, in a separate interview, said the illegal drug business has improved her life since she started last November.
Before that, Matugas said, she was a dealer of Carcar-made slippers and sandals.
She slipped into the trade after an acquaintance advised her to try it so that she could send her children to college.
“Ingon akong mga anak god, bisag ingon ani kuno nga wala silay papa, wa kuno sila magutmi diri nako (My children told me that although they lost a father, they never went hungry under my care),” Matugas said.
She has five children, ages 4 to 21. Her third child, a 17-year-old girl, is on her first year in college.
Some of the children were in the house when their mother was arrested.
Matugas recalled seeing her daughters cry during her arrest.
“Wala na lang nako sila tan-awa pa og maayo kay huot na man sa dughan (I did not stare at them longer because it broke my heart),” she said.
The 17-year-old daughter, according to Matugas, will have to stop schooling, because the charges her mother is facing are non-bailable.
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