ILOILO City – There is a new drug group operating in this city and other parts of the province, according to the Regional Drug Enforcement Unit (RDEU). Its leader has allegedly worked for the late drug lord Melvin “Boyet” Odicta Sr.
“He just started his own group. Some of his members had been arrested already,” said RDEU chief Senior Inspector Marc Dado.
Dado, who refused to reveal the drug leader’s name, said the new group’s drug supply comes from Manila.
The leader – who lives in Molo district – has recently been released from the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila, Dado added.
“He is staying in Manila and he is the one sending illegal drugs here (Iloilo). Then his members will dispose of them,” the RDEU head said.
Dado added: “He is among the trusted men of Odicta years before. He stopped when he was arrested but now he is back.”
The RDEU is monitoring the activities of the drug group, whose members the police said were “new faces.”
“Isa lang ito sa minamanmanan natin dito sa Iloilo,” said Dado.
According to the RDEU, the 32-year-old medical technologist who was arrested in Barangay Q. Abeto, Mandurriao on Oct. 22, 2018 was a member of the new drug group.
Jonathan Lobriza – a “high-value” target and a resident of La Paz – was arrested after selling suspected shabu to an undercover police officer in his car parked outside the Western Visayas Medical Center where he worked.
Dado said Lobriza was a bodegero of the drug group
Antidrug personnel staged the sting operation against Lobriza after another La Paz resident Joel Catilo was nabbed in Molo.
Catilo told the police that Lobriza was the one who kept their drug supply from Manila.
Results of police investigation showed that Lobriza had been engaged in the illegal drug trade since 2010 but his illicit activities were only known last year.
Meanwhile, Dado said drug activities in Iloilo decreased 56 percent, citing their latest records.
He attributed the decline to their intensified antidrug operations.
“We observed that the drug supply and activities had been really affected because of our nonstop operations,” the RDEU head said. “Some of our targets had left Iloilo and went to other regions to hide.”
Dado said in Western Visayas, most of the drug supply comes from Bacolod City and other parts of Negros Occidental, citing statements from drug suspects they have arrested./PN