By Jennifer P. Rendon
Seven persons were added to the already long list of suspected drug personalities arrested in Iloilo City.
They were caught in a police buy-bust operation shortly after midnight on Oct. 19 at Barangay Simon Ledesma, Jaro district.
Arrested were Marcelino Baron, 51, and his live-in partner, 38-year-old Mary Magdalena; Roy Huertas, 55; Addison Maloto, 34; and Carmelo Abane, 41. All are residents of Barangay Simon Ledesma.
Police also nabbed Ken Sean Omelig, 27, of Barangay Buhang, Jaro, and Janniel Silayro, 33, of Barangay Cubay, Jaro, Iloilo City.
Members of the Iloilo City Police Office-City Drug Enforcement Unit (ICPO-CDEU), together with the Iloilo City Police Station 3, the Coast Guard Intelligence Group Western Visayas and the Maritime Police Station 6, arrested the suspects after they allegedly connived in selling a sachet of suspected shabu for P10,000.
Police further recovered 15 more sachets of suspected shabu, three improvised tooters, a bundle of empty plastic sachets, a coin purse, aluminum strips and two disposable lighters.
Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Benitez Jr., CDEU chief, said the seized drugs weighed around 125 grams and were valued at P850,000.
Benitez said that Baron was the target of the operation.
The other suspects who were caught at his place were there to allegedly get their supply or to use illegal drugs.
Baron used to be on the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) list of illegal drug personalities.
Bus his name was taken down after he was imprisoned for a carnapping offense.
He was able to serve his sentence.
But lately, police again monitored him to be engaging in the illegal drug trade.
It was believed that the suspect sourced his supply through his connection with Jovern Abantao alias Jovan, a big-time drug personality who is jailed at the New Bilibid Prison.
The seven suspects are now detained and will be charged with violation of Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002).