By Jennifer P. Rendon
Residents of Barangay Parian, Sigma, Capiz silently heaved a sigh of relief following the arrest of their 47-year-old neighbor in a police raid early morning of Feb. 8.
The abode of suspect Baltazar Bastian was subjected to a search operation following numerous complaints that stemmed from his alleged indiscriminate firing of a gun and illegal drug trade.
Members of the Sigma Municipal Police Station, together with the 2nd Capiz Provincial Mobile Force Company and Capiz Provincial Police Office-Provincial Police Drug Enforcement Unit, swooped down on the suspect’s house to implement Search Warrant Nos. 32-02-2024 to 37-02-2024.
The operation was conducted for possible violations of Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002), RA 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act) and RA 9516 or possession of explosives.
Judge Judith D. Orendain-Tonogbanua of the RTC Branch 20, Mambusao, Capiz issued the search warrants against Bastian.
Police operatives were able to recover six plastic sachets of suspected shabu, a caliber .38 revolver loaded with three ammunition, an M26 fragmentation grenade, and several illegal drug paraphernalia.
Captain Dennis Losbañez, Sigma police chief, said the seized drugs weighed 100 grams and were valued at P680,000.
Police hatched the operation against the suspect following numerous complaints that he fired his gun, especially when he was under the influence of liquor.
Residents also noticed that several “visitors” frequented Bastian’s house, even at nighttime.
But neighbors could not see Bastian’s activities since his house is surrounded by walls.
Police have yet to determine the suspect’s source of illegal drugs.
The suspect is now detained and will face a string of criminal charges for violations of RA 9165, RA 10591, and RA 9516.