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Airport nurse nabbed in Butuan drug buy-bust

By Ben Serrano

A registered nurse was arrested in a drug buy-bust operation Monday morning in Butuan City.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-Caraga) identified the nurse as Ernesto Martinez Zaratan, Jr., 43, an employee of the Butuan City Airport Medical Clinic.

Dindo Abellanosa, spokesperson of PDEA-Caraga, said Zaratan was caught selling suspected “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride) to an undercover agent around 1 a.m. Monday in front of his house at Cinderella Subdivision, Phase II, in Barangay Villa Kanangga, Butuan .

Seized from Zaratan were five sachets of suspected shabu, and the marked money. He did not resist arrest.

Abellanosa said the suspect had been under surveillance by PDEA for months because of persistent reports of his alleged drug pushing activities from informants.

“As a government employee, he was considered as a high value target,” he said.

Zaratan, who is now detained at the PDEA Caraga Region jail facility in Butuan, is facing charges for violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.

Zaratan’s drug examinations showed he was positive for using illegal drugs, Abellanosa said. Photos courtesy of PDEA-13

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