PDEA focuses on new 20 drug groups

PDEA Regional Director Alex Tablate

ILOILO City – There are 20 new drug groups operating in Western Visayas and they are mostly based in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental, according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

They are remnants of neutralized illegal drug groups and have decided to fill the void left by their mother groups, said PDEA Region 6 director Alex Tablate.

“Kung may roon man sa Iloilo at sa ibang probinsya ay hindi naman masyado kasi ang main operation nila ay Negros Island. Pansamantala lang nagbebenta sila dito sa Iloilo because of massive anti-drug operations. In and out ang kanilang operation sa Iloilo,” said Tablate.

The groups find it easier to operate in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental, according to the director, because they have less difficulty slipping through seaports the shabu from their suppliers.

“We received information that their drug sources are from Cebu and Manila,” Tablate added.

The chief of the Police Regional Office 6’s Regional Drug Enforcement Unit (RDEU), Senior Inspector Marc Dado, recently said some members of the Odicta and Prevendido drug groups have started to regroup “but they could not fully operate because they know we have their identities.”

“So they are mobilizing members not familiar to the police,” said Dado.

The Odicta and Prevendido groups disintegrated after their respective leaders, drug lords Melvin Odicta Sr. and Richard Prevendido, died.

Odicta was shot by unidentified armed men on Aug. 29, 2016 while Prevendido was killed in a shootout with spolicemen on Sept. 1, 2017./PN

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