P2.176-M of shabu seized as ICPO’s crackdown on illegal drugs continues

By Jennifer P. Rendon

More than P2 million worth of illegal drugs were seized in separate anti-illegal drug operations in Iloilo City.

The twin drug busts followed a previous police operation last Jan. 10 where almost P8 million of shabu was seized.

All three operations, the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) said, are part of a crackdown to run after drug personalities who planned to peddle illegal drugs during the Dinagyang celebration.

The first of the last two anti-illegal drug operations in Iloilo City was conducted at Zone 7, Barangay Bitoon, Jaro district at around 7:36 p.m. on Jan. 11.

Members of the Iloilo City Police Office-City Drug Enforcement Unit (ICPO-CDEU), together with the Iloilo City Police Stations 3 and 4 and the Iloilo City Mobile Force Company, led to the arrest of three high value individuals (HVIs).

They were identified as Mary Jean Alsol, 34; Jobert Conol, 42; and Elbert Ardales, 29.

The suspects allegedly connived in selling a sachet of suspected shabu for P8,000.

Seven more sachets and four plastic packs of suspected shabu and several non-drug items were seized from them after the bust.

Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Benitez Jr., CDEU chief, said the seized drugs weighed around 120 grams and were valued at P816,000.

Benitez said the trio was repacking the shabu for street-pushing purposes when arrested.

Meanwhile, members of the Iloilo City Police Station, together with ICPO-CDEU operatives, arrested another suspected drug pusher at Barangay Balhaw, Mandurriao.

Fifty-year-old Jimmy Andrada was arrested following a buy-bust and, subsequently, a search warrant operation at his home in Bakhaw village around 9 a.m. on Jan. 12.

Captain Val Cambel, ICPS5 chief, said that the suspect sold a sachet of suspected shabu for P1,500 to a police poseur buyer.

They then implemented Search Warrant No. 34-01-2024 issued by Judge Ma. Yolanda Panaguiton-Gavino of the 6th Regional Trial Court Branch 34, Iloilo City on Jan. 11, 2024.

This led police operatives to recover around 200 grams of suspected shabu at the suspect’s abode.

The seized drugs were worth P1,360,000.

Cambel said the suspect has been distributing drugs in several districts of Iloilo City.

Andrada admitted that he’s been into drug use and trade for more than 20 years already.

He was making P1,000 per shabu delivery he made. On average, he could log four transactions in a day.

Cambel confirmed that the suspect has been on the watchlist of illegal drug personalities of both the CDEU and the  Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC).

All four suspects will be charged with violation of Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002)