BUY-BUST. Operatives of San Carlos City Police Station in Negros Occidental seize PHP1.469 million worth of shabu during a buy-bust in Barangay 6 on Monday night (Feb. 20, 2022). Arrested suspect Mark John Quijano, 23, has been tagged as a high-value individual. (Photo courtesy of NegOcc-San Carlos City Police Station)

ILOILO CITY – Separate drug busts have resulted in the death of a high-value suspect in Iloilo City, the arrest of another in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental and the confiscation of a total of 326 grams of shabu valued at over PHP2.2 million.

The suspect who was declared dead on arrival on Tuesday was identified as Jason O. Espaltero alias “Don-Don”, 32, a native of San Jose, Antique and temporarily residing at Barangay Rizal Estanzuela in Iloilo City.

“We conducted a buy-bust operation in Barangay Lanit around 1:50 a.m. and there was an exchange of five sachets of shabu for PHP75,000 buy bust money from our poseur buyer. When he was about to be arrested, he drew his firearm and fired at our poseur buyer,” said Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) officer-in-charge Col. Joeresty Coronica in an interview.

The poseur buyer, however, was not injured since he was wearing a bulletproof vest.

One of the police operatives retaliated and the suspect was hit on his chest, Coronica added.

The operatives led by Lt. Col. Antonio P. Benitez Jr., officer-in-charge of the City Drugs Enforcement Agency (CDEU), recovered from the suspect additional 17 sachets of shabu, one .45 caliber pistol loaded with a magazine and two live ammunition, and other non-drug items.

The 22 sachets of drugs seized from the suspect were valued at PHP748,000.

Coronica said the suspect, who sourced his supply from Negros Occidental, is one of the biggest drug suppliers in Iloilo.

Meanwhile, police anti-drug operatives seized some PHP1.47 million suspected shabu during a buy-bust in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental Monday night.

The arrested suspect, Mark John Quijano, 23, a resident of Luzuriaga Street, Barangay 6, has been tagged as a high-value individual by the San Carlos City Police Station.

At past 7 p.m., the suspect sold PHP2,300 worth of the prohibited substance to a poseur-buyer.

He also yielded 16 heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets of shabu weighing a total of 216 grams.

Priced at PHP6,800 per gram, the haul was valued at about PHP1.47 million. (PNA)