A former Binibining Pilipinas candidate and her female partner were arrested by the police in a drug bust in Sampaloc, Manila, on Monday.
The arrested couple were identified as Marife Garlit, 46, the former beauty pageant contestant; and Ma. Lovella Rival, 43.
Chief Insp. Wilfredo Sy, who heads the Manila office of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, said the couple were jailed in 2014 for drug possession and managed to post bail.
They were rearrested in a buy-bust operation on M. Dela Fuente Street about 2:30 p.m. on Monday and yielded four sachets of suspected “shabu,’’ (methamphetamine hydrochloride) along with drug paraphernalia and the P100 payment used in the entrapment.
Sy described Rival as “one of the big-time players in the area who sells shabu at a price not lower than P500. For a poor community, where most of the residents are jobless, P500 is considered big money.”
Also known as “Big Bertha,” Rival was No. 3 on the CIDG’s list of drug pushers in the Sampaloc area, where she allegedly operated a drug den, the official added. Garlit was known as a drug user.
The operation to arrest Rival was launched months ago, but she proved elusive and would be seen in Sampaloc only thrice a week.
In an interview with the Inquirer, the couple admitted taking drugs but denied being pushers. “It’s been a long time since I took drugs and I’m not selling any,” said a tearful Rival, who shared the cell with Garlit at the CIDG-Manila office.
Garlit claimed she had also stopped using shabu since her release from a rehabilitation center in 2014.
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