By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
A joint effort by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) station in Dumangas, Iloilo, the Provincial Police Office (IPPO) and Police Regional Office-6 (PRO-6) managed to arrest two individuals after intercepting a shipment of suspected shabu, valued around P18 million, headed for Bacolod City at the Dumangas Port, last Sunday.
Police identified the suspects as 32-year-old Jose Alberto Kilayko Pinaga and his live-in partner Maebelle Belmonte Poblador, both residents of Barangay Mambulac in Silay City, Negros Occidental.
PCG-Iloilo station chief, Lieutenant Commander Ramil Palabrica, said their station initially received information from the IPPO that a white Chevrolet Duramax pickup truck containing suspected shabu was scheduled to board a Bacolod City-bound ship.
PCG and anti-illegal drug operatives arranged a buy-bust operation with the suspects, which resulted in their arrest.
Upon inspection of the vehicle, one big and four small sachets of suspected shabu were recovered.
IPPO estimated the weight of the illicit substance at one kilogram.
The recovered evidence was later presented to local media and PRO-6 director, Police Chief Superintendent Cesar Hawthorne Binag, at the IPPO headquarters at Camp Martin Delgado in Iloilo City.
The suspects are presently under the custody of the IPPO and are facing charges for the possession, transport, and sale of illegal drugs./DGB, WDJ