Kagawad, two others nabbed in drug sting

By Jennifer P. Rendon

A village councilor and two individuals were apprehended during an anti-drug operation on the afternoon of March 5 in Jaro, Iloilo City.

The detainees were identified as Barangay Kagawad Joseph Jaleco, Jr., 50, of El-98, Jaro; Clint Hautea, 34, of Barangay Democracia, Jaro; and Jerry Ferrer, 35, of Barangay Desamparados, Jaro.

The operation, led by the Iloilo City Police Office-City Drug Enforcement Unit (ICPO-CDEU), initially targeted Hautea.

The arrests occurred after the suspects allegedly collaborated in the sale of a sachet of suspected shabu valued at P12,000 in Barangay Desamparados, Jaro.

Subsequent search by the CDEU, assisted by members from Iloilo City Police Stations 3 and 4 and the Maritime Police Station, resulted in the discovery of an additional 11 sachets of suspected shabu, an improvised tooter, a brown envelope, and various non-drug-related items.

Captain Gimmel Acuesta, leader of the CDEU team, said the confiscated shabu amounted to approximately 20 grams, with an estimated value of P136,000.

Although Hautea was the primary focus of the sting, Acuesta indicated that Jaleco appeared to be complicit with the main target.

The arrest followed a three-week period of surveillance. In the aftermath, Jaleco has refuted any involvement in the narcotics trade.

The suspects have been detained and are facing charges under Republic Act 9165, known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.