ILOILO City – The officer-in-charge of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Region 6 is prioritizing the neutralization of high-value drug targets.
Barangay drug-clearing operations, too, would be given more emphasis, according to Director Alex Tablate whose last assignment was as deputy director of PDEA in Region 8 (Eastern Visayas).
“We have to prioritize high-value targets and barangay drug clearing because these are our mandates. We hope barangay officials will help us,” said Tablate.
Tablate replaced Emerson Margate whom the PDEA central office sacked for the delayed filing of criminal charges against three arrested brothers-in-law of slain drug lord Melvin Odicta Sr.
No such similar incident should happen again, said Tablate.
PDEA-6 then under Tablate’s predecessor Emerson Margate explained that the non-filing was due to the office’s broken photocopier.
“We have to check the photocopier and make assure it won’t happen again,” said Tablate.
Margate and his eight personnel were sacked effective Dec. 16 and were transferred to the PDEA national office. They would be investigated.
The complaint for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act was filed against the Odicta in-laws only on Dec. 17 or four days after their arrest on Dec. 13.
The suspects were Regalado brothers Leo, Cyril and Arnulfo, and Arnulfo’s wife Nilda. They were brothers of Odicta’s wife Meriam.
The Regalados’ house in Barangay Sambag, Jaro district was raided by PDEA operatives Thursday morning last week. Nine sachets of shabu worth P400,000 were seized including a .45 pistol and a 12-gauage shot gun.
The suspects were released on Dec. 14 after their reglementary detention period ended without PDEA managing to file charges against them for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002./PN