ILOILO City – There are no drug laboratories in Western Visayas, stressed the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6).
The region, however, is being used as transshipment point of illegal drugs, said Police Lieutenant Colonel Joem Malong, PRO-6 spokesperson.
Concerns were raised over the possibility that drug laboratories operated in the region following the seizure of P7.2-million worth of shabu in Purok Maabi-abihon, Barangay 35, Bacolod City on Nov. 15.
Citing intelligence reports, Malong said Western Visayas remains free from illegal drug factories but drug traffickers have made the region their transshipment point due to its numerous seaports with porous security.
“Iloilo and Bacolod are small cities. It would be easy to spot illegal drug laboratories if there’s any,” said Malong. “Our monitoring of the region is continuous.”
She assured Western Visayans that the PRO-6 and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) have tightened the security in seaports to prevent illegal drugs from slipping through.
Ten dogs trained to detect illegal drugs and even explosives are augmenting policemen and PDEA personnel posted in these seaports, Malong revealed.
On Nov. 15, suspects were arrested in separate police buy-bust operations in Bacolod City where an estimated P7.2-million worth of shabu was confiscated
The suspects were Joselito Detoyato, 36, of Barangay Mandalagan, Bacolod City; Jonel Ronel Jaleco, 25, of Barangay 34, Bacolod City; and Ronaldo Roquero Jr., 38, of Talisay City, Negros Occidental.
Detoyato and Ronel were described as high-value targets.
Detoyato and Jaleco were arrested after selling a sachet of shabu to an undercover police officer at Purok Maabi-abihon, Barangay 35 at about 12:45 a.m.
Police recovered seven sachets of shabu with estimated market value of P405,000.
Roquero, meanwhile, was arrested at South Capitol Road, Barangay 9, Bacolod City at about 2:30 a.m.
He was a suspected member of the Divinagracia drug syndicate in Silay City./PN