P660,000 in drugs seized in San Carlos City

A TOTAL of P660,000 worth of illegal drugs were seized while a couple and their relative were arrested in a raid at Margarita Village Extension in Barangay 2, San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, early Wednesday morning, March 9.

Police identified the primary suspects as Iyaan Mipantao, 35, and his wife Kairon Mipantao, 31. Also arrested was the husband’s sister, who allegedly served as the suspects’ runner.

Joint operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Negros Island Region (PDEA-18) and San Carlos City Police Station were acting on the search warrant issued by Regional Trial Court Branch 44 Judge Katherine Go against the couple, who have been under the police drug watchlist since 2013.

Recovered from the suspects were 16 sachets of suspected shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) weighing 110 grams with an estimated street value of P660,000, a tricycle, a motorcycle, mobile phones, and P3,000 cash, said Chief Inspector Mark Darroca, deputy city police chief.

After the arrest, Darroca said police still needed to validate the claims of Mr. Mipanto's sister, who claimed she was 15 years old.

Darroca said they have been monitoring the suspects’ operations for a month.

The couple, who hail from Salvador, Lanao Del Norte, have been detained at the San Carlos City Police Station, pending the filing of drug charges against them.

Drug charges filed

Meanwhile, illegal drug charges were filed by police on Wednesday with the Bacolod City Prosecutor’s Office against 11 suspects, two of them minors, who were arrested in a drug raid conducted by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) at Purok Himaya, Barangay Mansilingan Tuesday afternoon, March 8.

Inspector Renoli Bagayao, head of CIDG-Bacolod, said a case for violation of Republic Act 9165 or Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 was filed against Rene Tobongbanua, 35, owner of a drug den and subject of the raid.

Also charged were Remond Flores, 28; Jester Gelle, 20; Christian Semillano, 18; Alfie Fernandez, 31; Joshua Agustin, 18; Norman Alila, 36, all residents of Barangay Mansilingan; Jay Arr Cortez, 27, of Barangay Zone 1, Murcia; John Rey Castigador, 34, of Central Ma-ao, Bago City; and two minors aged 14 and 17.

Police recovered from their possession 36.2 grams of suspected shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) with an estimated market value of P140,000.

Armed with two search warrants issued by Judge Jose Paolo Arriola of Municipal Trial Court in Cities Branch 1, the operatives led by Bagayao swooped down on the residence of Tobongbanua and an abandoned house nearby.

Police also recovered from the suspects’ possession drug paraphernalia, P20,600 in cash, four cellular phones, and a closed circuit television camera monitor.

Tobongbanua and his companions have been detained at CIDG-Bacolod headquarters while the two minors have been turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development. (MAP)

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