An estimated P18 million worth of suspected shabu was recovered yesterday by the police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency operatives from an alleged drug pusher from Silay, Negros Occidental, during a buy-bust operation on Sunday in Dumangas town, Iloilo.
Arrested were Jose Alberto Pinaga, 32, and his live-in partner, Maebelle Belmonte, 30, both residents of Brgy. Mambulac, Silay City.
Supt. Gilbert Gorero, Public Information Officer of the Police Regional Office 6, yesterday said that Pinaga and Belmonte, on board a rented vehicle, with their minor child, were about to board a vessel bound for Negros Occidental, when the buy-bust operation was conducted.
A kilo and four sachets of suspected shabu, estimated to have a street value of P18 million, were recovered during the operation, Gorero said, in a statement issued by the PRO 6.
Gorero said Pinaga and Belmonte, who were in transit from Batangas to Caticlan via a roll-on roll-off vessel, shortly before their arrest, are believed to have gotten their shabu supply from Luzon.
Pinaga later divulged to authorities his contact in Negros Occidental, and this prompted the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office to conduct a follow-up operation.
This led to the arrest yesterday of a certain Corazon Vergel, a senior citizen, in Brgy.Mandalagan, Bacolod City.
The apprehension of Vergel, who is allegedly engaged in drug peddling activities, yielded 15 grams of suspected shabu, estimated to have a market value of P180,000, Gorero said.
Chief Supt. Cesar Hawthorne Binag, regional police director of Western Visayas, commended the NOCPPO, Iloilo Police Provincial Office, PDEA 6 and the Philippine Coast Guard for a job well done.
Meanwhile, members of the San Carlos City Police Station in Negros Occidental were awarded the PNP Commendation Medal for the arrest of Christian Unabia, last week, that yielded more than half a kilo of shabu, estimated to have a market value of P6.8 million, during the flag ceremony at Camp Martin Delgado in Iloilo City.*GPB
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