BUSTED. Police apprehended the leader of the notorious Bugalon drug group in southern Negros during a buy-bust in Barangay Hilamonan, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental on Monday (Aug. 15, 2022). The suspect Jonalyn “Mommy Jing” Bugalon is considered a high-value individual, according to a report of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOCPPO) on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of NOCPPO)

BACOLOD CITY – Police apprehended the leader of the notorious Bugalon drug group in southern Negros during a buy-bust in Barangay Hilamonan, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental on Monday.

The suspect, Jonalyn “Mommy Jing” Bugalon, 49, considered a high-value individual, was collared along with alleged drug runner Juanito “Jerome” Artisano Jr., 54, a beautician and resident of Barangay Suay in the neighboring Himamaylan City.

A report of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOCPPO) said a poseur buyer from the Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit (PDEU) transacted with Bugalon inside a beauty parlor, where Artisano was working.

Lt. Judesses Catalogo, public information officer of NOCPPO, said on Tuesday the arrest of Bugalon was a result of the sustained campaign of the drug enforcement teams in Negros Occidental.

“With her arrest, it is possible that the distribution of illegal drugs especially in the south portion of the province will be cut off. We still cannot discount the possibility that there will be new members but at this point, we can feel that the distribution will be affected,” he added.

Even if several members of the drug ring had already been neutralized in the past three years, Bugalon had continued to evade arrest as she never dealt directly with buyers.

Catalogo said maybe this time, she had to get personally involved in the transaction because of their dwindling forces and that also she could not refuse the buyer’s offer.

During the operation at 11:20 a.m., Bugalon sold PHP20,000 worth of shabu to an undercover policeman.

The suspect also yielded one knot-tied bag and 13 plastic sachets of the same prohibited substance, weighing about 130 grams, valued at PHP884,000.

Both Bugalon and Artisano are now in the custody of the Kabankalan City Police Station.

Charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 are being readied against the suspects. (PNA)