In-laws of drug lord Odicta freed as PDEA fails to file raps


ILOILO CITY — The three brothers and a sister-in-law of the wife of slain drug lord Melvin Odicta were released Friday after the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Western Visayas (PDEA-6) failed to file drug charges against them.

This was confirmed by Chief Supt. John Bulalacao, Regional Director of Police Regional Office 6, in an interview Friday evening.

Wife and husband, Nilda and Arnolfo Regalado, and Arnolfo’s siblings Cyril and Leo, were arrested by authorities for possession of an estimated PHP380,000 worth of suspected shabu and firearms during the raid conducted early Thursday morning at Barangay Sambag in Jaro, Iloilo City.

However, Bulalacao said they were not charged by PDEA-6, the reason why they were released from detention.

Bulalacao said that PDEA-6 Regional Director Emerson Margate explained to him that they were unable to file charges due to a delay in the preparation of the documents.

“He told me that their photocopier and printer were broken so there was a delay in preparing the documents,” he said.

PDEA-6, which was supposed to file the charges before the fiscal on or before 5 p.m. was late by almost five minutes, Bulalacao said.

“They exceeded the reglementary period that is why the fiscal did not receive it (documents) anymore so there will be no more inquest but regular filing,” he said.

However, Bulalacao is worried that the four drug suspects may be able to escape and avoid prosecution after being released, adding that they will wait for the warrant of arrest.

Meantime, Bulalacao expressed doubt over the PDEA here for their failure to inquest the suspects.

“I am doubting them because (the lack of a) photocopying machine is a very simple reason why they cannot file the charges,” he said.

Bulalacao said that they will submit a request to PDEA’s hierarchy to conduct its own investigation.

He then appealed to PDEA-6 to justify its actions so as not to lose the trust of the police and the public.

“We know that they (PDEA) should be the role model of all the anti-drugs operations because that is their task and we are just supporting them,” he said. (PNA)