Jul Jabbal, the 63-year-old Balabac businessman arrested for alleged possession of shabu, passed negative on a drug test administered on him on Friday.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) clarified that despite this, it will still file a case against Jabbal for violating the law that makes it illegal to possess and peddle shabu after 25.7295 grams worth P205,836 were seized during a joint operation to serve a search warrant early in the morning of March 9.

Jabbal was apprehended around 7 a.m. after a search of his property in Sitio Matangule, Brgy. Bancalaan, Balabac, on the island of Marabon, turned up alleged shabu and other drug-related paraphernalia.

They were discovered inside a sling bag on one side of his house where he runs a store, while the empty plastic sachets, a straw assumed to be used in repacking the prohibited drugs, were found inside his son’s room. There were also used foils lying about in plain sight inside Jabbal’s store.

According to a PDEA Palawan agent only known as “Rocky,” they have been staking Jabbal out due to reports that he is selling shabu in significant transactions.

“Ilang beses kami nag-test buy sa kanya, at hindi pumapayag na maliitan lang. Kasi ayaw niya nang maghati hati ng mga item niya,” Rocky, who was part of the operation, told Palawan News.

“Sa ngayon paglabag sa section (selling) ang nakahandang kaso na maisasampa namin sa kanya, pina-drug test na namin siya depende sa magiging resulta ng test kung may maisasampa pa tayong iba (using),” said Rocky.

He claimed that their test buys were not less than P10,000 for each transaction, which is why they requested a search warrant for his property.

Jabbal, on the other hand, disputed ownership of the confiscated shabu and the other paraphernalia during the search.

“Bakit may bag diyan? Hindi akin ‘yan. May naglagay lang yan diyan,” he said.

However, the joint operatives of the PDEA Palawan, the Police Provincial Office (PPO) mobile force, and the Naval Intelligence Security Group (NISG) found hospital invoices and prescriptions with Jabbal’s name within the bag.

PDEA said many supplies are from Marabon, based on reports they have received and information obtained from different raids they have performed.

Residents on the island, on the other hand, informed that there are other personalities in the area involve in the illegal drug trade, and that supplies reaching Marabon are allegedly coming from Pangutaran, Sulu, and Malaysia. PDEA said it will verify these reports.

Magazines and bullets were also confiscated from Jabbal, but no gun was discovered.

He is now under the custody of the police for proper disposition.