More big fish: Ex-Lanao del Sur mayor tagged as “drug queen” and military officer-husband nabbed

  • Former mayor of Lanao del Sur town and her husband arrested by authorities
  • Seized from their house were 200 grams of shabu, money and a .45 caliber pistol
  • They were reported as leaders of a drug ring operating in almost all of Mindanao’s regions

MANILA, Philippines – Another big fish has been caught.

A day after police reported the death of alleged big-time drug lord Meco Tan in Valenzuela, law enforcers swooped down and arrested a couple they tagged as heads of one the biggest syndicates operating in Mindanao.

At 11 AM Saturday, July 23, a joint team of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and Philippine National Police (PNP) raided the compound of Johaira Abinal and her husband army major Suharto Macabuat in Cagayan De Oro City’s Grand Ballon, Brgy. Kauswagan.

The couple were arrested along with seven other individuals believed to be members of their syndicate. Recovered from their house were 200 grams of shabu, money, and a .45 caliber pistol.

Abinal was reported to be the former mayor of Maguing town in Lanao del Sur. Her husband meanwhile is stationed in Fort Bonifacio.

According PDEA Northern Mindanao chief Adrian Alvaro, the couple headed one of the biggest drug rings in Mindanao—with their area of operations extending to regions in Mindanao’s northern, southern and central regions, Caraga and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

He said they get their supplies from Manila-based Chinese drug lords.

“They are dealing drugs in bulk,” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “If the orders are huge, the payment is done through bank to bank transactions, and on consignment basis.”

Alvaro added this is the first time the couple and their ring—which has been operating for 15 years—has been busted.

“This is the first time group member had been arrested,” he said.