PDEA targets to curb jail drug trading in W. Visayas


By Tara Yap

Iloilo City—The new chief of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Western Visayas is bent on curbing drug trading inside jails.

“We need to strengthen greyhound operations,” said PDEA Regional Director Emerson Margate.

The new regional director vowed to work closely with both the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in cracking down on the reported trading conducted by drug personalities while already behind bars.

Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao, director of Police Regional Office (PRO-6), earlier disclosed that drug personality Jesus “Jing-Jing” Espinosa Jr. is still involved in the drug businesses even though he is currently detained at the Iloilo Provincial Jail in Pototan town, Iloilo province.

Espinosa, who was jailed at the facility since October 2016, has been linked to Melvin “Boyet” Odicta Sr., one of the two slain drug lords who operated in Western Visayas.

Margate said Monday that cracking down on jail narco-trading is one of his priorities in the region comprising of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental provinces.

Along with 89 personnel, Margate has officially been transferred to Western Visayas from Central Visayas while the 91 personnel including PDEA Regional Director Wardley Getalla was transferred to Central Visayas from Western Visayas.

The swap came after the death of PDEA Agent Earl Rallos, who was killed by unidentified gunmen in Cebu City last July 27.

Meanwhile, Margate said that all PDEA agents are told to take extra caution.