TWO drug personalities wanted for double murder in Iloilo City and three others were arrested Thursday afternoon, October 12, in Barangay Poblacion, Hinoba-an, Negros Occidental.
Arturo Balume Sr. and his son Arturo Jr., who have an arrest warrant issued by Regional Trial Court in Barotac, Viejo, were arrested by operatives of Iloilo Police Provincial Office led by Senior Superintendent Marlon Tayaba in coordination with Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office.
Both were considered level three high-value targets who can dispose more than 200 grams of illegal drugs in a week amounting to P1.6 million.
Tayaba said the suspects were arrested when police flagged down their vehicle after they were tracked down in the province.
Also arrested were their wives and the father-in-law of the younger Balume.
He added that the father and son were linked in the killing of a political supporter in Estancia town in the 2016 elections.
Tayaba said that both suspects were also considered to be a part of a sub-group under the late Melvin Odicta Sr., who was believed to be the biggest illegal drug financer in Western Visayas.
He said the suspects are also leaders of Balume Crime Group involved in gun-for-hire operations in Iloilo City and Negros Occidental.
Tayaba said the Balume family came to the province because they have relatives here.
They were able to buy properties like a quarry site in Hinigaran town and cock farm in Barangay Alangilan, Bacolod City aside from their other businesses, Tayaba said.
They pretended to be legitimate businessmen, he added.
During the apprehension, police also seized 11 sachets of suspected "shabu" (methamphetamine hydrochloride), two .45 caliber pistols, and a .38 caliber revolver.
Also arrested were their wives and father-in-law of the younger Balume.
Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on October 13, 2017.
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