ORMOC CITY- Police operatives in Southern Leyte arrested the reported top drug dealer during a buy bust operation on April 3.
Nabbed by the police authorities was Simon Mercado, 36 and a resident of Barangay Canturing, Maasin City near the Metro Hyper Mall, Brgy. Tagnipa of said city.
Senior Inspector Shevert Alvin Machete, chief of the Provincial Anti-Illegal Drugs and Special Operations Task Group(PAIDSOTG), said that seized from the suspect were two sachets of suspected drugs; two unlicensed firearms with several live ammunitions; cash worth P19,569 believed to be proceeds of illegal drug trade and P2,000 marked money.
Mercado was believed to have been engaging in drug selling in the entire province that put him number one in Southern Leyte’s drug watch list.
A policeman, posing as a buyer, bought the illegal drug from the suspect while the latter was inside his car parked near the Metro Hyper.
During a body search, it was discovered that he was concealing another single sachet of suspected drug and cal. 45 pistol tucked on his waist with live ammunitions. While a 9 mm caliber pistol with ammunitions and two magazines for cal. 45 were recovered at his unlicensed car Sedan KIA YDV 714. Village officials, representatives from Department of Justice and media witnessed the search.
With the arrest of Mercado, the illegal drug trade in Southern Leyte is seen to decline, police authorities said.
Police Supt. Armando Bolalin, acting provincial director, encouraged the local police to carry on intensifying Coplan “crystal” that initially handcuffed the province’s top on the watch list.
Mercado was charged through an inquest proceeding for violations of sec. 5 and 11 of RA 9165 (Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) and RA 8294 (Illegal Possession of Firearms).  (ELVIE ROMAN-ROA)