Police free Arroyo grandson
BACOLOD CITY—A grandson of former first gentleman Mike Arroyo’s late brother has been released from police custody for further investigation of the drug charges against him after he was arrested with two other men in a sting operation last week.
The city prosecutor’s office directed the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to free Joshua Roberto Ignacio Arroyo pending resolution of the complaint against him of illegal drugs possession, a bailable offense, said Julius Navales, PDEA director for Negros Island Region.
The two others arrested with Arroyo—his stepbrother Christian Mijares and Barangay 35 chair Manuel “Maui” Huelar Jr.—face non-bailable charges and remain in detention, Navales said.
Huelar was accused of selling and possessing dangerous drugs while Mijares was charged with conspiracy to commit unlawful acts related to illegal drugs.
The three were arrested during a buy-bust operation inside a pension house at Liroville Subdivision in Barangay Singcang-Airport on Nov. 28.
Huelar was arrested after he handed a pack of “shabu” to an undercover PDEA agent posing as a buyer. The buy-bust item—a plastic sachet with suspected shabu worth P500—plus an additional P1,000 worth of shabu were seized from him, said Navales.
Huelar, who used to play with the Negros Slashers in the Metropolitan Basketball Association, denied the charges.
Navales said Arroyo, a grandson of the former Negros Occidental Rep. Ignacio Arroyo, got out of his room to check on the commotion inside Huelar’s room next door. Arroyo immediately tried to close the door to his room after an agent saw suspected drugs inside.
The agent’s hand, which was holding a gun, got stuck in the door, prompting him to fire his weapon. The bullet hit Arroyo’s arm. He was taken to the hospital while the two others were detained.
Two small packs of “shabu” were seized from Arroyo, Navales said.
Mijares, who was in the room with Arroyo, was allegedly caught with a medium-sized sachet of suspected shabu, a pack of plastic sachets, a digital weighing scale, an improvised tooter, two disposable lighters and a cellular phone.
In Western Visayas, police have declared 83 villages in the region free from the influence of illegal drugs.
Supt. Gilbert Gorero, regional police spokesperson, said Aklan province recorded the most number of villages cleared, with 58. It was followed by Capiz province, with 23, and Guimaras, two.
He said these villages were cleared due to the absence of drug users and pushers and illegal drug dens or laboratories. —WITH A REPORT FROM NESTOR P. BURGOS JR.
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