By: Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – The Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) has prevented the distribution of illegal drugs meant for the MassKara festival here and the Buglasan festival in Negros Oriental, following the seizure of an estimated P2,591,000 worth of suspected shabu at Barangay 1 here Monday night.
Police Colonel Henry Biñas, BCPO director, said the City Drug Enforcement Unit (CDEU) led by Police Major Ariel Artillero raided the house of 36-year-old Ernesto Calatis around 11 p.m.
Calatis allegedly sold shabu to a police agent for P1,000, but he managed to escape after he jumped off the window when he sensed the presence of policemen in the area during the operation.
His partner Jessel Castillo, 28, was arrested at their house for allegedly conspiring in the transaction, Biñas said.
Police recovered during the drug bust 215 grams of suspected shabu, and the P1,000 marked money.
Castillo, who denied his involvement in the transaction during a media interview, is detained at Police Station 2 while Calatis is still at large.
Biñas said they received information that a big supply of “shabu” was transported here to be distributed for the two said festivals.
“The items reportedly came from Mindanao,” he added.
Biñas said the contraband was supposed to be delivered in different areas here since an influx of people is expected for the celebration of the MassKara festival, which officially opened last Monday.
“Part of the items will also reportedly be disposed to Negros Oriental for the Buglasan festival in Dumaguete City,” he added.
Biñas said Calatis was allegedly previously jailed for a drug offense and was released recently.
However, because of his alleged connections established with other drug offenders probably while incarcerated, he was able to immediately return to the illegal drug trade when he was released, Biñas added.
Last month, police in Negros Oriental also prevented the alleged distribution of drugs in Buglasan festival, with the confiscation of about P13.6 million worth of suspected in Dumaguete City.
The Bacolod top cop said they will continuously monitor the possible entry of contrabands since the MassKara Festival will run until the 27th of October.
“They will probably try to dispose the supply to many party-goers in this kind of celebration,” he added.
Meanwhile, Police Colonel Romeo Baleros, director of Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (Nocppo), said they will intensify their border control security to prevent the entry of drugs here and in the province.
In fact, Nocppo has augmented more than 300 policemen to secure various areas of convergence during the whole duration of the MassKara festival.