La Paz village chief falls in drug bust

BY GLENDA SOLOGASTOA

ILOILO City –Suspected shabu, firearms and ammunitions were seized in Barangay Rizal, La Paz district around 3:30 p.m. yesterday.
The police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) subjected Barangay Captain Jolly Peñasales, 59, to a buy-bust operation.
The village chief was arrested after selling a transparent heat-sealed plastic sachet containing suspected shabu to an “asset” for P15,000, according to a member of the Police Regional Office 6’s (PRO-6) Regional Drug Enforcement Unit (RDEU).
Also recovered were two .9mm Browning pistols and 23 live ammunitions, and four more plastic sachets containing suspected shabu.
Joining PDEA and the RDEU in the operation was PRO-6’s Regional Intelligence Unit.
Peñasales had been under surveillance for quite some time. The police and PDEA believed his supply came from Cagayan de Oro and Negros Island.
The barangay captain, however, denied trafficking shabu.
“Cagayan source? I don’t even know where that is. I have never been to Cagayan. I’m not into drug trafficking. They can subject me to a drug test,” said Peñasales.
The village chief said what happened to him could be a case of mistaken identity.
“Nagapangdakop gani ako sa barangay ko,” he said.
Peñasales was detained at the La Paz police station. He faces a charge for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
According to an RDEU operative, the suspect had “down lines.”
“Medyo high-class man ang naga-transact sa iya. Amo na subong ang ginatutokan namon,” he said.
The operative also revealed that Peñasales was in President Rodrio Duterte’s list of suspected drug personalities. (With a report from Ian Paul Cordero/PN)