PDEA chief Aaron Aquino (left) presents alleged online drug dealer Jovet Atillano in a press conference yesterday. BOY SANTOS
MANILA, Philippines — Anti-narcotics operatives seized P1.3 million worth of illegal drugs from a suspected dealer during a raid on a condominium in Mandaluyong City yesterday.
Jovet Atillano, 32, has reportedly been involved in the illegal drug trade since July 2014, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director general Aaron Aquino said, citing their intelligence reports.
Atillano uses Facebook and Instagram as well as other websites to sell his products, Aquino said in a press conference yesterday.
Atillano is said to be a major distributor of illegal drugs in Metro Manila, Baguio City, Cebu and Boracay island.
“Most of his customers are young professionals and affluent persons,” said Aquino, adding they are not discounting the possibility that celebrities and public figures could be among Atillano’s clients.
Atillano admitted to selling illegal drugs in the past but claimed he stopped when President Duterte assumed his post last year. He denied owning the illegal drugs reported to have been found in his condominium unit.
PDEA agents, armed with a search warrant, raided Atillano’s unit at GA Towers in Barangay Malamig at around 5 a.m.
They seized 500 tablets of the party drug ecstasy, with a street value of P1 million; 50 grams of shabu, with a street value of P350,000; 83 tablets of nitrazepam, an anti-anxiety drug, with a street value of P5,810; and 12 tablets of diazepam, another anti-anxiety drug, priced at P200 each; and assorted drug paraphernalia.
To avoid detection, Atillano transfers to another condominium building every six months, Aquino said.
Alleged dealers like Atillano also use drivers of transport network companies like Grab to deliver drugs to their customers. This way, law enforcement authorities have difficulty in tracking their locations, according to Aquino.
1 dead, 11 arrested
In other parts of Metro Manila, a drug suspect was killed and 11 others were arrested.
Valerio Villaflor, 48, reported to be a high-value target, was shot dead by unidentified motorcycle-riding assailants along Manuel Quezon street in Barangay Cupang, Muntinlupa City at around 2 a.m. yesterday.
In Quezon City, three minors were caught using marijuana in Barangay Marilag, and four alleged dealers were caught in separate stings in Barangay Tatalon.
Two of the alleged dealers were identified as Janrei Gallardo, 27, and Danilo Cullera, 53.
In Pasig City, Jason Padayao, Marvin Batica, Bonifacio Luciano and Paulino Mallari were arrested in separate stings on Monday.