By Jennifer P. Rendon
Two persons were arrested with more than P1 million worth of shabu in their possession.
Paul Bryan Reyes and Mario Sabidong, Jr. were collared in a police anti-narcotics operation late evening of Sept 12 in the parking lot of Arthur Suites Boutique Hotel on Gen. Luna St., City Proper, Iloilo City.
Reyes, 24, of Barangay Sambag Jaro, Iloilo City and Sabidong, 27, of Block 7, Lot 1, Landheights Subd. Phase 1, Barangay Quezon, Arevalo, Iloilo City allegedly sold two sachets of suspected shabu for P30,000.
Members of the Regional Police Drug Enforcement Unit (RPDEU)-6 and the Iloilo City Police Station 1 subsequently arrested the suspects and recovered from them nine more sachets of suspected shabu.
Lieutenant Glenn Soliman, RPDEU-6 team leader, said the seized illegal drugs weighed around 180 grams and were valued at P1.224 million.
Police also seized a blue Hyundai Tucson SUV, an improvised glass tooter with alleged shabu residue, an Android phone, P1,000 cash, a digital weighing scale, a tickler or notepad, and several non-drug items.
Soliman said the suspects are considered high-value targets. They were placed under surveillance after the arrest of their pals, Moncarl Alarde and John Feeby Inayan in another buy-bust on Aug. 4, 2022 at La Paz district.
Alarde, 28, and Inayan, 29, both residents of Villa Carolina Subdivision, Barangay Caingin, La Paz were arrested along with Jhon Vincent Solinap, 28, of Barangay Ginubatan, Leganes, Iloilo; and Alberto Lopez, 28, of Delgado St., Barangay Hipodromo, City Proper, Iloilo City.
The four suspects yielded P1.6 million worth of shabu.
Soliman said Alarde and Sabidong are friends while he knew Reyes after they were incarcerated at about the same time.
It was gathered that Reyes was arrested in a police anti-narcotics operation in Jaro district in 2018.
But the case against him was dismissed.
Before their arrest, the suspects agreed to transact at Barangay Bolilao, Mandurriao. But they quickly changed the location to Iloilo Sports Complex in La Paz.
Because of the delay, the suspects intimated canceling the deal. But they later agreed to push through with the transaction at the parking lot of Arthur Suites.
Soliman said the duo may have secured around 300 grams of drugs last Saturday.
The two had connections with Happy Go Lucky Gang, a predominantly Ilonggo group based at the New Bilibid Prison.
After their supply arrived from Metro Manila, they rented a room at Arthur Suites starting Sunday and planned to stay there for a week.
From the time they stayed at the hotel, employees claimed that several persons were seen coming in and out of their room.
The two were also seen going out at the wee hours of the day.
Meanwhile, the seized vehicle was allegedly owned by a networking company Sabidong is working for. But the suspect has been silent on the company’s name.
Reyes and Sabidong are now detained and will be charged with violation of Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002).