Bus driver, conductor nabbed in buy-bust

Dianne Dy, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 05 2016 08:35 PM

ILOCOS NORTE - A passenger bus driver and his conductor were arrested in a buy-bust operation along the national highway in Barangay Nangalisan, Laoag City on Monday morning.

Police identified the two as bus driver Jessie Bartolome, 43, and Gilbert Silva, 33, who are both residents of Badoc, Ilocos Norte.

Investigation revealed that an operative was able to buy one heat-sealed plastic sachet containing shabu, four plastic sachets with shabu residue, P1000 buy-bust money, three glass tooters, and other drug paraphernalia.

The transaction happened inside the passenger bus while it was parked along the national highway.

According to the police, Bartolome is on the drug watch list. He is also a self-confessed drug user who surrendered to them under the PNP's Oplan Tokhang (knock and plead) program in Badoc.

Bartolome and Silva, in turn, denied selling shabu but admitted that they are only users.

"Gagamitin lang namin 'yan (shabu), sobra (na shabu) namin yan, sa amin 'yang dalawa," Bartolome said. 

"Sa driver ko yan, ginagamit 'pag nagdridrive kasi wala siyang kapalit. Tumitikim lang ako," Silva added.

They will face charges for violating Republic Act 9165 also known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.