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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, January 31, 2018
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Seized P18M shabu
to hurt Bacolod supply

The arrest of a Silay couple with P18 million in suspected shabu in Dumangas, Iloilo, on Sunday is expected to have an effect on the illegal drugs supply in Bacolod City, and neighboring areas, the police said yesterday.

Jose Alberto Pinaga, 32, and his live-in partner, Maebelle Belmonte, of Brgy. Mambulac, Silay City, were arrested during a buy-bust operation at the Dumangas Port in Iloilo, while about to board a vessel bound for Negros Occidental.

Supt. Noel Polines, Silay City police chief, said Pinaga is next in line, or the “right hand” of Michael Divinagracia, a high value drug personality in Silay City, who is among the distributors of shabu in Bacolod City.

Divinagracia, who recently posted bail of P500,000, for drug-related charges, utilizes Pinaga in getting shabu from Luzon, Polines said.

Polines said the group of Divinagracia has a tie-up with the Aki Cuadra Group in Bacolod City, that is involved in robbery-hold-ups and in selling drugs.

Initial investigations of the Silay police showed that the group of Divinagracia was among the suppliers of drugs in Bacolod City, aside from Silay City.

Since Monday, the police has apprehended three drug personalities in Silay City, in a series of buy-bust operations, Polines said.

The arrest of Pinaga and Belmonte led to the arrest also of Corazon Vergel, alias Neneng in Hacienda Minulu-an in Brgy. Matab-ang, Talisay City, Negros Occidental.

The arrest of Vergel during a buy-bust operation yielded about 20 grams of suspected shabu, estimated to have a market value of P180,000, and P500 in marked money.

Senior Supt. Rodolfo Castil, provincial police director of Negros Occidental, said their investigations indicated that the shabu came from Muntinlupa.

Also on Monday, three other drug suspects were apprehended by the police during a buy-bust operation at Canetown Subdivision in Brgy. 19-A, Victorias City, Negros Occidental.

Nabbed were Sherwin Higino, alias Weng Weng, who ranks number 4 in the Victorias City police drug watch list, Joel Villa, and Cristine Diaz, all residents of the place.

Higino sustained injuries, after he climbed a concrete wall with broken glass, while attempting to flee from the police, Supt. German Garbosa, Victorias City police chief, said.

The arrest of the three suspects yielded P50,000 worth of suspected, P300 in marked money, P600 in cash believed to be proceeds from sale of shabu, assorted shabu paraphernalia and a cellular phone.*GPB



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