‘We are watching closely’ -- PDEA

By Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and Philippine National Police (PNP) will watch closely barangay (village) officials who won in Monday’s elections.

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“We are watching them closely,” assured Chief Superintendent Cesar Hawthorne Binag, director of Police Regional Office (PRO-6).

During a Tuesday press conference, Binag disclosed that he met with PDEA-6 Regional Director Wardley Getalla on the steps to take regarding this matter.

Getalla earlier claimed that 105 barangay officials across Western Visayas are being closely monitored for their alleged drug links.

A few candidates in this city who are related to illegal drug trade personalities won in Monday’s elections.

Barangay Captain Remia Prevendido-Gregori of Bakhaw village was reelected Barangay Captain, while Noel Odicta of Tanza-Ezperanza village was elected kagawad (councilor).

Prevendido-Gregori is the sister of slain alleged drug Richard “Buang” Prevendido, who was killed by police operatives after resisting arrest last year.

Odicta is the brother of slain alleged drug lord Melvin “Boyet” Odicta Sr., who was killed by still unidentified gunmen.

Keith “Dabing” Espinosa was also reelected as the barangay captain of Monica-Blumentritt village. She is the wife of Jesus “Jingjing” Espinosa Jr., who was linked to the Odicta drug group.

The three village officials have earlier denied any links to the alleged drug activities of their family members.