Millions worth of ‘shabu’ seized in Iloilo, NegOcc

A couple was arrested for possessing P1.3 million worth of suspected shabu in Barangay 3, Victorias City, Negros Occidental Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of Victorias City Police Station)

By Jennifer P. Rendon and Glazyl Y. Masculino

More than P2 million worth of suspected drugs were seized from three persons in separate police operations in Iloilo and Negros Occidental, an indication that the narcotics business remains robust.

A 21-year-old man was arrested in a police anti-illegal drug operation afternoon of Oct 25, 2022 in Pototan, Iloilo.

Lance Florida, a resident of Rizal St., Pototan, was collared in the buy-bust operation at Barangay Rumbang.

Florida allegedly sold a sachet of suspected shabu for P100,000 to a police poseur buyer.

Members of the Iloilo Police Provincial Office-Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit (IPPO-PDEU), together with Pototan Municipal Police Station and the 2nd Iloilo Provincial Mobile Force Company, conducted the operation after two months of surveillance operations.

Recovered from Florida were the marked money and four sachets of suspected shabu.

Captain Francis Albert Fortunado of IPPO-PDEU said the seized drugs weighed around150 grams with a standard drug price of P1,020,000.

Fortunado said Florida was not the main target of the operation.

“He’s just working as a runner and right-hand man of the distributor,” he said.

The main target, Fortunado, is Florida’s relative.

But during the operation, it was only Florida who showed up.

Florida was carrying a big volume of illegal drugs, as he was supposed to drop them off to other pushers in nearby towns.

He allegedly claimed to source their supply in Iloilo City and Mindanao.

Florida initially claimed he in on ninth grade in an Alternative Learning System (ALS). But Fortunado said they have yet to confirm his claims.

Florida is now detained and will be charged for violation of violation of Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002).

In Negros Occidental, around 200 grams of suspected shabu worth P1.3 million were seized from a couple in a buy-bust operation in Barangay 3, Victorias City on Tuesday.

Arrested were Marijo Acuña, 37, a businesswoman, and her live-in partner Denmark Liscano, 26, both residents of the said village.

Police, however, could not confirm if Acuña is related to a politician in the city.

According to the police, the couple allegedly conspired in selling two sachets of shabu for P25,000 to a police agent during the bust.

Joint operatives of the Regional Police Drug Enforcement Unit (RPDEU)-6 and Victorias City Police Station conducted the operation after a month of monitoring on the suspects.

Police Lieutenant Judesses Catalogo, public information officer of Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (Nocppo), said that Liscano was the subject of the operation, as he is in the priority list and considered a high value individual (HVI) in the city.

But, with the huge volume of drug recovery, Catalogo said that Acuña can also be considered an HVI.

Catalogo said that based on initial information, Liscano previously surrendered through Oplan Tokhang in the city, while Acuña undergone treatment for illegal drug use.

The confiscated illegal drugs were reportedly sourced here, but police have yet to determine the areas where the illegal drugs were supposed to be distributed.

Police also recovered from Liscano an improvised homemade shotgun, while the couple also allegedly yielded P1,200 cash, two live 12-gauge shotgun ammunitions, a blade cutter, and other non-illegal drug items.

In a media interview, the couple denied the allegations against them.

Liscano said he was supposed to go to Acuña’s store when two unidentified men approached him and allegedly brought him inside the house of the store owner.

Acuña also alleged that her pouch only contained a make-up kit, while Liscano said that he only had P50 cash and a charger inside his bag.

Both of them said that they do not have an idea about the confiscated illegal drugs.

Drug charges will be filed against the couple, while Liscano will face another charge for illegal possession of firearm, according to Catalogo.