Uncle and nephew arrested in P816K drug bust

More than PHP800,000 worth of suspected crystal meth or shabu was seized from an uncle-and-nephew tandem last April 4. (ICPO-CDEU photo)

By Jennifer P. Rendon

In a significant blow to local narcotics operations, a 68-year-old man and his 35-year-old nephew were apprehended during an anti-drug sting in Molo, Iloilo City, on the afternoon of April 4.

The suspects, identified as Melchor Tayco and his nephew Efren Diaz, were arrested at Tayco’s residence in Zone 5, Barangay Boulevard, Molo.

The Iloilo City Police Office – City Drug Enforcement Unit (ICPO-CDEU), in coordination with Iloilo City Police Station 4 and the ICPO City Intelligence Unit, executed the operation which culminated in the duo’s arrest following their sale of a P12,000 sachet of suspected shabu.

A search of the premises led to the discovery of four additional sachets and two knot-tied plastic packs containing suspected shabu, alongside various non-drug-related items.

Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Benitez, Jr., head of the CDEU, reported that approximately 120 grams of drugs were seized, valued at a standard drug price of P816,000 and carrying a street value of up to P2.4 million.

Benitez suspects the residence was used for drug consumption due to numerous used sachets and drug paraphernalia found scattered across the floor.

Both apprehended individuals are repeat offenders with prior convictions. Tayco was previously detained in 2020, while Diaz had been incarcerated for drug offenses in 2016, with both having been released under the government’s plea bargaining agreement.

The arrests came after a two-week surveillance operation spurred by neighborhood complaints regarding the suspects’ illicit drug dealings.

Currently in custody, Tayco and Diaz are facing charges under Republic Act 9165, also known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.