‘Hot-headed drug trader’ falls in drug sting

By Jennifer P. Rendon

From being a shooting incident suspect to an alleged girlfriend beater, a 47-year-old man has another label to his person.

Joseph Jaleco, a resident of Barangay Sapa, Dumangas, Iloilo, is now deemed a high-value individual (HVI) after he was arrested for possessing a big volume of illegal drugs.

Members of the Iloilo City Police Office-City Drug Enforcement Unit (ICPO-CDEU), together with the Iloilo City Police Station 2, arrested Jaleco in a buy-bust operation at Barangay Nabitasan, La Paz, Iloilo City around 1:15 a.m. of June 16.

When he was later frisked, police recovered 10 more sachets of suspected shabu, a weighing scale, cash of P870, and several non-drug items.

Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Benitez, Jr., CDEU chief, said the seized drugs are valued at P850,000.

Jaleco, who claims to own a catfish hatchery in Dumangas, was placed under police monitoring following a tip that a Dumangas resident is distributing illegal drugs in Iloilo City.

Jaleco allegedly got his supply from Jaro, Iloilo City, and other parts of Iloilo province.

He also admitted to the police that he had an arrest for illegal drugs in 2013 but was released through plea bargaining in 2020.


Jaleco was also named a suspect in a shooting incident that hurt a delivery crew shortly after midnight on July 7, 2022.

He allegedly shot Jose Palacios, 34, of Garcia Apartment, Barangay Sto. Domingo, Arevalo, Iloilo City.

Palacios, who hails from Sagay City, Negros Occidental, works as a helper at JSL Delivery Truck Services. He sustained a graze wound on his upper left wrist.

Reports indicated that Palacios and his co-worker were unloading dry goods at a 7-Eleven branch at corner Jalandoni St. and Aurora Subdivision, Barangay Anita, City Proper, Iloilo City when a misunderstanding ensued between him and Jaleco.

The assailant drew an unknown firearm from his pocket and shot Palacios.

The gunman immediately fled.

Jaleco was not immediately identified until screenshots of CCTV footage made rounds on social media.

It appeared that Jaleco got irked after Palacios allegedly stared at his lady companion.

Three months after that, he again hogged the headlines for physical battery.

Jaleco allegedly slapped his 15-year-old girlfriend while the latter was sleeping at her family’s home in Dueñas, Iloilo.

According to a police report, the suspect barged into the girl’s home unannounced around 11 a.m. on October 15.

Before she could even process what happened to her, Jaleco allegedly pulled her hair and banged her head to the wall.

The girl’s 14-year-old sister said Jaleco also punched her sister in the head.

The sister said she immediately got out of the house to ask for help from their relatives.

When their uncle went to their house to pacify them, Jaleco allegedly drew a caliber .22 revolver from his bag and poked it at the uncle.

The uncle retreated and went out of the house,

The suspect then pointed the gun at his girlfriend, who at that time was shivering in fear.

The police made a quick response after the victim’s younger sister personally reported the incident.

The scene of the incident was only a kilometer from the police station.

When police arrived, the suspect and the victim were already out of the house.

But when Jaleco saw police operatives, he offered no resistance and yielded his handgun loaded with 5 ammunition.

Laranja said that the suspect apparently threw a fit after learning that the girl went to a community dance and drank liquor in Passi City.

Charges for violation of Republic Act 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act) and RA 10591 Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act) were filed against the suspect.

Jaleco apparently settled the 7-Eleven incident.

Police said they have yet to check the disposition of his other case.