By: Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City –Fifty-two sachets of suspected shabu worth P1,577,600 were seized from a high value target drug personality at Purok Himaya, Barangay Mansilingan here Wednesday.
The operation was conducted on the day that controversial police official Lieutenant Colonel Jovie Espenido reported here for his new assignment.
Joint operatives of Regional Drug Enforcement Unit (RDEU)-6 and Police Station 7 here arrested 37-year-old Rene Tobongbanua at his house.
Police Lieutenant Florentino Abalayan, head of Police Station 7, said they placed Tobongbanua under monitoring for several months before launching the operation.
Police also recovered during the operation the P2,000 marked money.
Abalayan said that Tobongbanua was previously arrested for a drug offense and was recently released from jail after his case was reportedly dismissed.
He also said that they are investigating if the items were sold only here or even outside Bacolod.
When sought for reaction, Tobongbanua, who is detained at the said police station, denied the allegations against him.
Tobongbanua said that the operation was not conducted at his house, and he was just probably singled out since he just got out of jail.
He also said that he did not own the recovered contraband in the drug bust, adding that he does not use or sell drugs.
He said that his previous illegal drugs case was dismissed by the court because he also did not own the seized contraband.
He will be charged for sale and illegal possession of dangerous drugs, and illegal possession of drug paraphernalia.
Meanwhile, Police Lieutenant Colonel Jovie Espenido, deputy city director for operations of Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO), congratulated the accomplishment of the two raiding units on his first day here.
“Sana may katapusan na ang buy-bust. Sana mag stop na because life is beautiful. Kung gusto magmadali, sana tayo magkita para may resulta,” he said.
Espenido has been known to be aggressive in the government’s war against drugs in his previous assignments few years ago.
He said that drug users and drug pushers are victims of big financiers.
“Dapat tugisin sila dahil pineperahan o ginagamit lang nila kayo,” he added.
Moreover, Jay Pee Cortez, 34, of Barangay Mambulac, Silay City, Negros Occidental, a target-listed drug personality was arrested in a drug bust at the said village last Wednesday.
Police confiscated from Cortez three sachets of suspected shabu weighing eight grams worth P90,000, two pairs of scissors, a lighter, the P500 marked money, and P1,000 boodle money.