By Aaron Recuenco
Police and military forces prevented yesterday the distribution of six kilos of shabu in various parts of Western Visayas following the raid in a sugar cane plantation in San Carlos City in Negros Occidental.
Chief Supt. John Bulalacao, director of the Western Visayas regional police, said the confiscated drugs is worth P72 million based on the market value estimate of the Dangerous Drugs Board.
“The suspects were able to flee the area after they monitored the entry of anti-illegal drugs operatives into the sugar cane plantation,” said BUlalacao.
He said the operations stemmed from a report of the distribution of illegal drugs in the area by a local drug syndicate.
The official said the operation of the group was further established when an agent of PDEA was able to transact with one of the suspects.
Immediately, police and military operatives were mobilized and were deployed near the area, the arrangement is that the soldiers and military would swoop in after a drug deal.
The suspects, however, scampered away after sensing something wrong with the transaction, leaving behind the illegal drugs.
Confiscated during the raid were the six packs of shabu tightly wrapped in a packaging tape.
“We are now conducting follow-up operation to arrest them. We are also conducting investigation to identify the sources of drugs,” said Bulalacao.
In Bacolod City, Bulalacao said his men also arrested two suspected drug pushers in a buy-bust in PUrok Ube of Barangay 4 in Bacolod City.
Bulalacao identified those who were arrested as Faisalin Ubra and Norhan Caunda. Seized from them were some 120 grams of shabu.
These incidents came a day after a shipment of 500 kilos of illegal drugs worth P3.4 billion was intercepted at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) late Tuesday.
The drug shipment, according to the Bureau of Customs, is one of the largest drug haul in the Philippine history.
Concealed in two magnetic lifters, weighing four tons each, the drug shipment was discovered after a couple of tries of detection using K9 sniffing dogs from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapena said.
Meantime, PDEA-6 is targeting new drug players in Western Visayas region.
“We all know this [illegal drug trading] is a lucrative business. Definitely, there are new players,” said PDEA-6 Regional Director Emerson Margate.
Since President Duterte took office, the Ilonggo leaders of two major drug groups in the region have been neutralized. Melvin “Boyet” Odicta Sr. was shot and killed by unknown gunmen last August 2016 while Richard “Buang” Prevendido was killed by police operatives for resisting arrest last September 2017.
Margate and his personnel were assigned to Western Visayas from Central Visayas after swapping with the team of PDEA Regional Director Wardley Getalla.
Margate, who officially reported earlier this week said PDEA-6’s focus will be on areas with a history of rampant drug trade.
Margate particularly mentioned drug groups in Negros Occidental province. While he did not mention names, he assured that PDEA agents are closely monitoring the group personalities.
Another focus area will be Aklan province, especially as world-renowned Boracay Island in Malay town is set to reopen to tourists by October 26.
Margate said PDEA-6 is still prioritizing Iloilo City, the regional capital. (With a report from Tara Yap and Betheena Kae Unite)