P714K of shabu seized in twin drug busts in Iloilo City

By Jennifer P. Rendon

Around P714,000 worth of suspected shabu was seized in separate illegal drug operations in Iloilo City.

The twin anti-narcotics operations led to the arrest of three persons.

First to be arrested were Marken dela Peña, 21, of Barangay Desamparados, Jaro district and Regan Jorgel, 39, of Barangay San Roque, Jaro, during a buy-bust operation 9 p.m. of August 21 at Barangay Luna, Jaro.

Members of the Iloilo City Police Office-City Drug Enforcement Unit (ICPO-CDEU), together with the Iloilo City Police Station 3, collared the duo for allegedly selling a sachet of suspected shabu for P18,000.

Recovered from the suspects were seven more sachets of suspected shabu, a pouch, an Android phone, a keypad mobile phone and cash of P415.

Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Benitez Jr., CDEU chief, said the seized drugs weighed around 55 grams and valued at P374,000.

Dela Peña, who is temporarily staying at Barangay Bakhaw, Jaro, was also arrested on April 30, 2023 for violation of Sections 15 and 12, Article II of Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002). He was released after posting a bail.

Jorgel was also arrested for a drug-related offense on Jan. 13, 2016.

Since he was only charged for violation of Sec. 7, Article II of RA 9165 for visiting a drug den, he was released on Jan. 20, 2019 after serving his sentence.

Meanwhile, members of the Regional Police Drug Enforcement Unit (RPDEU) 6, together with the Iloilo City Police Station 1, arrested Joseph Hilado at around 3:10 a.m. of August 22 at Ledesma St., Barangay Kahirupan, City Proper.

Hilado, 42, of Zone 5, Barangay Calumpang, Molo, allegedly sold a sachet of suspected shabu for P10,000.

He further yielded 14 more sachets of suspected shabu, a mobile phone, a coin purse, cash of P250 and other non-drug items.

The seized drugs weighed around 50 grams with a value of P340,000.

All three suspects are now detained and will be charged for violation of RA 9165.