DAVAO CITY—The most wanted drug personality here was busted while smoking shabu inside his own auto shop at V. Mapa St. in J.P Laurel district early on Friday.
John Jao Saavedra and four others were apprehended as authorities from the Sta. Ana police station conducted a buy-bust operation nearby.
Others arrested were Andrew Kuo Lim, 26, the grandson of the owner of Grand Men Seng hotel; Denar V. Valdevieso, 26, the grandson of the owner of Weena Bus Co.; Oliver H. Borres, 45; and Henry C. Sumpat, 40.
Police recovered 12 pieces of different sachets of shabu, drug paraphernalia and the buy-bust money from the suspects.
According to Sta. Ana Police Station Commander Chief Inspector Hamlet Lerios, his subordinates bought a sachet of shabu from the suspects as they held their drug session.
Lerios said Saavedra was Davao City’s most elusive drug personality and a high-profile target.
“We’ve been monitoring him for more than a year already, he is very hard to catch. Very elusive,” he said.
Saavedra previously surrendered to President Rodrigo Duterte when the latter was still mayor of Davao, Lerios said. However, he returned to his illegal drug activities when Duterte was already campaigning for the presidency.
“During the busy days of the campaign [Saavedra] returned to peddling drugs,” the police chief said. “Our eyes were on him since last year. We had not gathered enough evidence back then, that is why we could not act immediately.”
Saavedra was pinpointed by several drug personalities local police have apprehended before, Lerios said. Saavedra has been getting his drug supplies from Hinatuan, Surigao Del Sur, based on their surveillance.