Drug suspect escapes from PDEA custody

BY RUBY P. SILUBRICO

Thursday, December 7, 2017

ILOILO City – A drug suspect detained at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Region 6 in Fort San Pedro has escaped.

The 29-year-old Reynaldo Cavintoy of Barangay Veterans Village, City Proper jumped over the fence at the back of PDEA-6 around 9 a.m. yesterday.

Cavintoy and eight other PDEA-arrested drug suspects were moved out of their detention cell yesterday morning supposedly for a physical examination at the nearby crime laboratory of the Police Regional Office 6.

When no one was looking after them at the PDEA office, Canvintoy found an opportunity to escape, a source told Panay News.

Cavintoy was charged with violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 (visiting a drug den) after his arrest in on Nov. 15 at a boardinghouse in Barangay Seminario, Jaro district that PDEA operatives raided.

Shabu worth P460,000 was recovered from the boardinghouse.

Aside from Cavintoy, five others were arrested: Maribel Hulleza, Julmar Taub, Hernani Tipayan, Robert Alipat, and Eduardo Pineda.

Hulleza and Taub were tenants of the boardinghouse and PDEA suspected them of having ties with the Prevendido drug group who leader, drug lord Richard Prevendido, was killed in a shootout with policemen in Barangay Balabago, Jaro on Sept. 1, 2017.

Neither PDEA regional director Wardley Getalla nor his spokesperson David Abraham Garcia could be reached for interview as of this writing.

Cavintoy escaped a day after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the resumption of police operations against illegal drugs but with PDEA remaining as lead agency.

In issuing the order, the President noted that while PDEA made significant strides, the agency “has been seriously hampered in performing its huge mandate by lack of resources, specifically agents, and operatives who can penetrate drug-infested areas down to the municipal and barangay levels.”

Duterte’s memorandum likewise said there had been a resurgence of illegal drugs as well as crimes committed since the Philippine National Police and the other law enforcement agencies yielded to PDEA the conduct of all anti-illegal drugs operations.

In a previous interview, PDEA-6 director Getalla lamented that without the police’s help, the agency was having difficulty catching high-value drug targets./PN