DRUG BUST. Operatives of the City Drug Enforcement of Bacolod City Police Office seize 201 grams of suspected shabu worth PHP1.37 million from Alijis village councilor Abby Araneta during a buy-bust on Tuesday (Nov. 8, 2022). The suspect, 28, considered a high-value individual, is now on her second term as a village official. (Photo courtesy of Bacolod City Police Office)

BACOLOD CITY – A village councilor of Barangay Alijis here was arrested together with her driver during a buy-bust that yielded PHP1.37 million in suspected shabu along Taculing Road on Tuesday.

Police identified the suspect as Abby Araneta, 28, a resident of ECC Villas Subdivision, and Freely Boy Aldas, 39, of Purok Cabugwason, Barangay Mansilingan, both tagged as high-value individuals by the Bacolod City Police Office.

Araneta, a single mother, is in her second term as a member of the Alijis Barangay Council and had also served as chairperson of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK).

“I have no comment. Since I became SK chairman in 2010 and became a kagawad for two terms for 11 years, Barangay Alijis knows me. Only the people of Alijis and those who know me can defend me,” Araneta said in the local dialect during an interview at the custodial facility of Police Station 7.

According to the police report, an undercover policeman purchased PHP5,000 worth of shabu from Araneta in a meet-up at around 3:15 a.m. during the operation initiated by the City Drug Enforcement Unit, which placed her under surveillance after receiving information about her alleged involvement in illegal drugs last month.

Operatives seized from the subject 12 sachets and two knot-tied transparent plastic bags containing the prohibited substance, weighing 201 grams with a standard drug price of PHP6,800 per gram.

They also recovered Araneta’s white Toyota Vios car, mobile phone, sling bag, and PHP700 cash.

Both suspects will be charged with violation of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, who personally knows Araneta, said the arrest of the barangay official should serve as a lesson not only to elected officials but also to other individuals involved in illegal drugs.

“It’s a lesson learned. You can’t escape the law. I pity her,” he added. (PNA)