By Jennifer P. Rendon
Two separate drug operations in Iloilo yielded more than P5.7 million worth of shabu.
The two anti-narcotics operations that happened in a span of five hours were conducted in Pavia town in Iloilo province and in Mandurriao, Iloilo City.
It started with the arrest of a tricycle driver at Barangay PHHC, Block 22, Mandurriao, Iloilo City at around 7 p.m. on Jan. 25.
Arthis Bartocillo alias Tatang, 44, of Barangay Lanit, Jaro, was collared after he allegedly sold a sachet of suspected shabu for P12,000.
Members of the Iloilo City Police Office-City Drug Enforcement Unit (ICPO-CDEU), together with the Iloilo City Police Stations 4 and 5, the Regional Maritime Unit (RMU) 6, the PNP Drug Enforcement Group and ICPO Special Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, carried out the operation against Bartocillo.
Police further recovered seven sachets and three knot-tied plastic sachets of suspected shabu, a brown paper bag, a mobile phone, cash of 600, a wallet and his driven tricycle.
Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Benitez Jr., CDEU chief, said the seized drugs weighed around 320 grams and had an estimated standard drug price of P2,176,000.
Bartocillo claimed to be a trusted man of a slain drug lord in Iloilo City.
While he admitted to peddling illegal drugs, he denied that he is into drug use.
Several hours after Bartocillo’s arrest, three suspected drug peddlers were arrested at 12:32 a.m. on Jan. 26 at Barangay Jibao-an Pavia, Iloilo.
They were identified as Mark Anthony Galon, 32, of Barangay Tanza-Esperanza, City Proper, Iloilo City, and temporarily residing at the said place.
Richard Entridecho, 28, of Barangay Lutac, Cabatuan, Iloilo; and Jinggoy Gaño, 25, of Barangay Pangal Sur, Echague, Isabela are temporarily staying at Barangay San Nicolas, La Paz, Iloilo City.
Galon, the main subject of the operation, and Entridecho are both considered as high value individuals (HVIs) while Gaño is a street-level pusher.
Members of the Regional Police Drug Enforcement Unit (RPDEU) 6, together with the Pavia Municipal Police Station, arrested the suspects after they allegedly confederated in selling a sachet of suspected shabu for P15,000.
The suspects also yielded 33 sachets and six knot-tied plastic bags of suspected shabu, cash of P520, two improvised tooters, a digital weighing scale, a mobile phone and several non-drug items.
Galon denied that he was into drug distribution and claimed that the seized illegal drugs were not taken from their possession.
On the other hand, Jiggoy claimed that he was not even into drug use. He alleged to have long stopped using shabu.
The four suspects are now detained and will be charged for violation of Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002).