SEIZED. A drug buy-bust operation launched by the Philippine National Police results in the arrest of a high-value personality and confiscation of PHP6.8 million worth of shabu in Carles, Iloilo on Wednesday (Jan. 18, 2023). A separate operation in Iloilo City also seized over PHP950,000 worth of shabu on the same night. (Photo courtesy of Carles MPS)

ILOILO CITY – The Regional Police Drug Enforcement Unit with local police seized over PHP7.7 million worth of shabu and arrested two high-value suspects in buy-bust operations in the city and province of Iloilo on Wednesday night.

Carles Municipal Police Station public information officer Master Sgt. Manuel Vencent Hermogenes on Thursday said one of the suspects, Matthew James Bacos, 20, of Barangay Botongon, Estancia town was nabbed after selling a PHP600,00 worth of shabu to a poseur-buyer at the Shangrila Beach Resort in Brgy. Barosbos around 10:45 p.m.

Authorities also seized 29 plastic sachets of illegal drugs from Bacos.

“Our intelligence operatives recovered from his (Bacos) possession suspected shabu, which is more or less one kilo with an estimated standard drug price of PHP6.8 million,” Hermogenes said.

Operatives said Basco could be distributing as far as Iloilo City.

Meanwhile, authorities also arrested Rogelio Evangelista, 40, of Brgy. Calaparan in Arevalo district shortly before midnight.

The suspect yielded 30 plastic sachets of shabu valued at PHP952,000 and buy-bust money.

Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr., currently in Iloilo, congratulated the local police for the successful anti-drug operations.

Philippine National Police Chief Gen. Rodolfo S Azurin Jr., in a statement released by the national headquarters, said the operations showed the policemen's commitment to fight illegal drugs.

“We will continue to exert all efforts to prevent if not eradicate drug use and encourage occasional users to discontinue use. The provision of the best available technical, electronic, and chemical analysis equipment, are our ways forward to help in the arrest of drug traffickers and bring to justice those who threaten the safety and security of our communities," Azurin said. (PNA)