NARCO TRADE THRIVES: Despite PNP ops and PR drive, shabu business is still alive

SEIZURE Operatives of Police Station 7 in Bacolod City seized 21 sachets of shabu valued at PHP120,000 from Glenn Yap, 53, a street level target. Yap was among the 17 persons arrested during the buy-bust at Purok Pili, Barangay 8 on May 29, 2019. In a week alone, police in Bacolod and Negros Occidental seized more than P700,000 worth of suspected shabu in various operations. Business is good, eh? (Photo courtesy of Bacolod City Police Office)

By: Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – The PNP, particularly the Police Regional Office (PRO)-6 headed by Brigadier Gen. John Bulalacao, boasts of the intensified campaign against the illegal drug trade.

Press releases on hundreds of persons arrested and hundreds of thousands of pesos worth of seized drugs are spoon-fed to journalists to project a “successful” anti-illegal drugs campaign.

But a look beyond the numbers indicates that the illegal drug business is still very much alive amid seizures, arrests, and even killings of suspected drug peddlers.

In this city alone and the province of Negros Occidental, P700,500 worth of illegal drugs was confiscated in various police operations from May 29 to June 5, 2019.

The biggest haul so far was on June 5 after an estimated P482,000 worth of illegal drugs were seized in separate police operations.

First to fall was Klint Mark Maiz, 27, of Barangay Mandalagan after he was busted by Police Station 3 here.

The buy-bust operation against Maiz led to the recovery of four sachets of suspected shabu weighing 12 grams and valued at P150,000, the P500 marked money, and drug paraphernalia.

Also arrested here was Rolinda Navarro, 52, of Barangay 8 after she allegedly yielded 10 sachets of suspected shabu weighing 10 grams and valued at P120,000 apart from the P500 marked money. Navarro is detained at Police Station 2.

Cops also nabbed Diamond Piola, 25, of Barangay Banago after yielding sachets of suspected shabu weighing six grams and valued at P65,000.

Piola, who is detained at Bacolod Police Station 3, also yielded the P500 marked money, a weighing scale, and a homemade shotgun with two live ammunitions.

Three persons, including a high value target (HVT), were also collared in a drug bust at Barangay Estefania here.

Police identified the suspects as Joan Belocura, 36, of the said village;  Kerwin Hablero, 42, of Barangay 2; and Jonard Parantar, 19, of Barangay Mandalagan.

Recovered from trio were 13 sachets of suspected shabu weighing 3.5 grams and worth P42,000, the P500 marked money, and an improvised tooter.

All three suspects are detained at Police Station 2.

In Silay City, Arnold Federico, 47, and Justine Lumayno, 28, both residents of Barangay Lantad; and Nicky Lira, 27, of Barangay Mambulac were arrested at Barangay Lantad.

The recoveries included seven grams of suspected shabu worth P105,000, drug paraphernalia, the P500 marked money, and P4,000 boodle or fake money used by police in the operation.

The trio is listed as suspected drug personalities.