Bacolod police probes abduction of ex-cop linked to drugs

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BACOLOD CITY — The Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) is still investigating the reported abduction of a retired policeman who was among those charged for alleged involvement in multi-million shabu smuggling.

A Police Station 2 report identified the victim as retired Maj. Lito Pirote, 55, a resident of C. L. Montelibano Drive, Barangay Villamonte in this city.

Minutes before 11 a.m. on Good Friday, Pirote, who was in the lobby of Metro Inn Hotel, was seized by five armed men wearing bonnets and bullet-proof vests. Two others served as lookout.

The men dragged Pirote inside a white Toyota Hi-Ace with conduction sticker YS 4514, and sped away.

Local media reports said Pirote was attending a family gathering at the hotel.

As of Sunday, the last report provided by the Police Regional Office-Western Visayas stated that a “follow-up investigation” has been conducted by Police Station 2 headed by Capt. Leo Estopa to “locate the whereabouts of the victim and his abductors”.

In December last year, Pirote, then a police inspector, along with former Senior Supt. Eduardo Acierto and several others, was charged for criminal complaints by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) before the Department of Justice for their alleged involvement in the smuggling of magnetic lifters that were found to contain billions of pesos worth of illegal drugs at the Manila International Container Port (MICP).

Pirote was also one of the five active police officials tagged as involved in illegal drug activities.

The names of the five police officials, along with Acierto, appeared in a drug matrix made public by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Senior Supt. Leonardo Suan, Supt. Lorenzo Bacia, Insp. Lito Pirote, Insp. Conrado Caragdag and SPO4 Alejandro Gerardo Liwanag had been summoned to Camp Crame to shed light on the allegations against them. (PNA)