FORMER Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA) star Manuel ‘Maui’ Huelar was arrested in a buy-bust operation of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Negros Island Region (PDEA-NIR) in Bacolod City.
According to Bombo Radyo Bacolod’s report on Tuesday, PDEA-NIR regional director Julius Navales confirmed that Huelar, now the barangay captain of Barangay 35 in Bacolod, was the main subject of the operation held Monday night that also resulted in the arrest of Joshua Robert Arroyo, grandson of former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo.
Navales said Huelar handed a sachet of shabu worth P500 to a PDEA agent who was the poseur buyer in the operation done inside an inn in Barangay Singcang-Airport in the city at around 7 p.m. The former Negros Slashers guard also had another sachet of shabu worth P1,000, according to the agents.
Joshua Robert, the grandson of Mike Arroyo’s younger brother former Negros Occidental Rep. Ignacio, was in the room next to Huelar. He suffered a gunshot wound in the arm after allegedly trying to stop a PDEA agent from entering, which resulted in the agent’s hand getting stuck on the door and causing him to pull his trigger.
Another suspect, Huelar’s alleged runner Christian Joseph Mijares, was also arrested as he was found inside Arroyo’s room along with two sachets of shabu and other drug paraphernalias. Navales said it was Mijares who brought the poseur buyer to Huelar.
Both Huelar and Mijares denied the allegations, with the former cager saying he has not been using or selling drugs or protecting anyone involved in the illegal drug trade. The former Slashers guard claimed he was only there that night to pawn his gun to add to his betting money for cockfighting.
According to reports, Huelar is no stranger to legal problems, as he had been served three arrest warrants last March for carnapping, robbery, grave coercion, and arbitrary detention. He has since posted bail for the said cases. In November 2010, he was also caught engaging in jai-alai operations in Bacolod.