ILOILO City – Western Visayas’ top drug suspect Ernesto Bolivar was recently spotted in a restaurant here, according to Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) director Police Colonel Martin Defensor, citing intelligence information.
He ordered his men to validate the information.
There have been reports that Bolivar is hiding in a remote barangay in Jaro district.
“All reports we have received are being validated. If we have zeroed on in his whereabouts we will arrest him,” said Defensor.
He described Bolivar as “highly mobile” and frequently changes his hideout.
Bolivar, a resident of Barangay Guinacas, Pototan, Iloilo, has been spotted several times in parts of Western Visayas and Metro Manila but has never been caught.
He became the prime target of the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) after the death of drug lord Richard “Buang” Prevendido in September 2017.
Recently, Police Colonel Roland Vilela, director of the Iloilo Police Provincial Office, offered a P100,000 reward to whoever could give information leading to the successful arrest of Bolivar, 41.
The provincial government of Iloilo is also dangling a P500,000 monetary reward.
Bolivar was believed to be a minion of Prevendido and stepped up drug trafficking activities after his boss died in a shootout with policemen.
Sources also said Bolivar has tapped the services of “new players” in his drug trafficking operation to avoid detection
Bolivar has a pending arrest warrant for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. He was charged although he managed to escape from policemen trying to entrap him in a buy-bust operation at his house in Barangay Guinacas on No. 9, 2016.
The Bolivar drug group operates mainly in central and northern Iloilo province and parts of nearby Capiz./PN