Drug suspects Moreto Valdezis Jr., 40-years old and Ricardo Paluyo, 47-years old, who were arrested on June 16, 2019, in Brgy. Punta Baja, Rizal. (Photo courtesy of PRO MIMAROPA)

Police are hunting down former Rizal mayor Arlie Nobleza who reportedly fled when they served him a search warrant in his house on Sunday morning in Brgy. Punta Baja, Rizal, southern Palawan, for violation of the comprehensive dangerous drugs act.

Police Major Romerico Remo of the Palawan Provincial Police Office-Drug Enforcement Unit (PPO-DEU) said Nobleza was able to get away from the police operatives serving the search warrant with a certain alias “Romeo” on June 16 at around 4:40 a.m.

Two persons were, however, arrested by police authorities identified as Moreto Valdezis Jr., 40-years old, and Ricardo Paluyo, 47-years old.

Former Rizal mayor Arlie Nobleza’s ID still hangs inside his house in Brgy. Punta Baja, Rizal. (Photo courtesy of Bandera News Palawan)

A search of Nobleza’s house also allegedly found in his bedroom a sling bag with seven pieces of heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets containing what seems to be shabu, Remo said.

Valdezis said Nobleza left around lunchtime on June 15 with his family.

“Dumaan lang saglit pero umalis din po siya agad kasama ang mag-ina niya. Hindi rin namin alam ‘yang shabu na ‘yan,” he said.

When he was searched, the police also found shabu sachets in Valdezis’ pocket.

“Hindi talaga sa akin yan. Hindi nga ako gumagamit niyan, nilagay lang sa akin ‘yan ng pulis. Sana naman maging totoo sila,” Valdezis accused.

Remo said while they were about to leave Nobleza’s house, a concerned citizen had reported that he was seen in another house he also owns.

They conducted a hot pursuit operation to find him, but Nobleza was nowhere to be seen.

“May nagsabi sa atin na andoon daw nagtatago si Nobleza sa isang bahay niya, agad naman tayong nagsagawa ng hot pursuit operation pero nakita niyo naman na negative ‘yon. Sasampahan na lang natin siya ng case, regular filing sa mga nakuha nating droga sa bahay niya,” Remo said.

The serving of the search warrant and the arrest was made by the PPO-DEU with the Rizal Municipal Police Station MPS), and the 1st Palawan Provincial Mobile Force Company (PPMFC).

The search warrant was issued on June 11, 2019, by Judge Ramon Chito Mendoza of Branch 165 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Brooke’s Point.

Valdezis and Paluyo have both been detained.

In 2017, Nobleza was reportedly detained by the police for illegal possession of firearms.

A search warrant at his residence in Punta Baja found and seized a unit of Colt Commando M16 Baby Armalite rifle with a serial number, one unit Taurus Caliber 45 with a serial number, one Caliber 22 rifle with a silencer and serial number, and various live ammunition.

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