P7.5M worth of illegal drugs seized in Iloilo, Antique drug busts

ILOILO. Iloilo City Police Director Colonel Joeresty Coronica.
ILOILO. Iloilo City Police Director Colonel Joeresty Coronica.Photo by Leo Solinap

AUTHORITIES seized P7,582,000 worth of illegal drugs and arrested six suspects in drug busts conducted in Iloilo City and Antique on March 18, 2024.

In Iloilo City, the Regional Police Drug Enforcement Unit 6, with assistance from Iloilo City Police Station 1 and the City Drug Enforcement Unit, targeted both high-value individuals (HVIs) and street-level individuals (SLIs) in the operation.

They arrested in a pre-dawn operation in Barangay Tanza Baybay, City Proper three HVIs identified only as Wilmon, Kurt, and Edilberto. Two SLIs -- Romulo and Marl -- were also nabbed.

The authorities are currently pursuing Irish, who remained at large.

They confiscated from the suspects a total of 1,055 grams of shabu worth P7,174,000.

Also seized were plastic sachets containing shabu, buy-bust money, mobile phones, and non-drug-related items.

Police Colonel Joeresty Coronica, Iloilo City police director, said, "Iloilo City, as the regional center, is a transshipment point. Most transactions happen here, although drug consumption by locals is not prevalent."

Coronica said law enforcement officials are focusing on "huge" recoveries and have successfully apprehended numerous high-profile individuals.

The main challenge faced was the interception of drugs coming from Luzon through Ro-ro (roll-on/roll-off) routes, he added.

"Our challenge lies in the fact that most drugs come from Luzon, so our main challenge is how to intercept them directly through Ro-ro routes," Coronica said.

He believes that illegal drugs are hidden inside a container van, making them hard to detect.

But Caronica is confident in their ability to detect illegal drug shipments due to good intelligence information, leading to successful operations.

In San Jose de Buenavista, Antique, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) operatives arrested a 29-year-old seafarer during a buy-bust operation in Barangay Funda Dalipe.

The suspect, identified as alias Edson, was nabbed around 6 p.m. with more or less 60 grams of shabu worth P408,000.

Seized from the suspect were various drug paraphernalia.

Edson is currently under the custody of the San Jose Municipal Police Station for proper disposition.

"I commend the collaboration of our operatives and the support from our partner agencies, local government units, and the community at large," said Police Brigadier General Jack Wanky, regional director of the Police Regional Office-Western Visayas.

"It is through unity and cooperation that we continue to make significant strides in ensuring the safety and well-being of our fellow Hiligaynons (Ilonggos)," he added.

Wanky added that a call to action is being made to continue the fight against drug abuse and protect youth from its harmful effects.

"We must remain vigilant and proactive in our efforts to eradicate this scourge from our streets and protect our youth from its harmful influence… Together, let us continue to uphold the values of integrity, excellence, and compassion as we strive for a safer and drug-free Western Visayas," he said. (Leo Solinap)


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