By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – An estimated P2,570,882.08 worth of suspected shabu were seized in various areas here and in Negros Occidental over the weekend.
The biggest drug recovery was reported here with the confiscation of 300 grams of suspected shabu worth P2,040,000 from a couple in a buy-bust operation at Purok San Roque 1, Barangay Handumanan on Saturday, March 18.
Operatives of the City Drug Enforcement Unit (CDEU) arrested Maria Elirica Celis, 39; and her live-in partner Carlo Purillo, 36, both residents of the said village. Both are high-value individuals, according to the police.
Also confiscated from them were the P3,000 marked money, and P241.
Police Captain Joven Mogato, CDEU head, said that Purillo was jailed for a drug offense in 2018, but was released two years later through plea bargaining.
Mogato also said that Celis was jailed for a drug offense in 2012 but was acquitted in 2020.
The CDEU is validating the possible link of the couple to a drug group.
Prior to that operation, another high-value individual was also arrested in a drug bust in Barangay Banago here on Friday, March 17, for the confiscation of 70 grams of suspected shabu worth P476,000.
Police Major Armilyn Vargas, head of Police Station 3, identified the subject as Elmer Laruan, 43, of the said village.
Also recovered from him were the P200 marked money, an improvised glass tooter, and P10,330.
Vargas said that Laruan has a sari-sari store which they believed was being used as a front in the alleged illegal drug trade.
Laruan was previously charged with frustrated parricide after he stabbed his children at home in 2019, according to Vargas.
Meanwhile, three persons were apprehended in separate buy-bust operations in the towns of Hinigaran, Ilog, and Isabela. Police seized P54,882.08 worth of the said contraband in the province on March 18.