Police bust slain drug lord Odicta’s in-laws

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Authorities collared the brothers and a sister-in-law of the wife of slain drug lord Melvin Odicta for having in their possession an estimated P380,000 worth of suspected shabu and firearms on Thursday.

Nilda Selubrico Regalado, 59, of Brgy. Sambag, Jaro,Iloilo City was the subject of a search warrant for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 issued by the Regional Trial Court’s 2nd Vice Executive Judge Rose Edith Togonon last December 11.

Operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Western Visayas (PDEA-6) and the Regional Drug Enforcement Unit 6 (RDEU-6) served the warrant at the suspect’s house. Police recovered from the possessions of Nilda and her husband, Arnolfo Regalado, 61, seven sachets of suspected shabu weighing five grams each, drug paraphernalia and a .45 caliber pistol.

A further search in the rooms of Arnolfo’s siblings Cyril, 51, and Leo, 48, led to the recovery of two more sachets of shabu and a 12-gauge shotgun with ammunition, two bolos and a knife.

Johnny Boy Ibañez, team leader of the PDEA-6 raiding team, said that they are still verifying the claim of Arnolfo that the .45 caliber pistol is licensed. The suspects are now in the custody of PDEA-6.

The Regaldo brothers are siblings of Odicta’s wife, Meriam. The Odicta couple were ambushed and killed by still unidentified assassins in Caticlan, Aklan while on their way home to Iloilo from Manila in 2016.

Meanwhile, a licensed teacher and a student were among the four suspects nabbed in a buy-bust operation in Molo district in this city on Wednesday evening.

Joint elements of the Molo Police Station and the Regional Drug Enforcement Unit in Western Visayas (RDEU-6) conducted the buy-bust operation around 5:45 p.m. at the house of Grade 12 student of Iloilo City National High School, R-Que Milliam, 19, at Zone 8 in the village of Calumpang, Molo, in this city.

They also subjected to operation his partner, Carla Mae Cortez, 30, a resident of Barangay Don Esteban, Lapuz, Iloilo City.

“We have been monitoring them for two weeks now,” said Chief Inspector Engilbert Branquillo, chief of police of Molo Police Station.

According to Branquillo, their police poseur-buyer tried to buy a sachet of shabu but the couple said that they run out of supply.

The couple then invited the police poseur-buyer to go with them to their friend, Vangie Benidicto, 27, also a resident of Barangay Don Esteban, Lapuz, Iloilo City.

Benidicto was with her friend, Liahrra Mae Aquiño, at the village of West Timawa in Molo district.

Aquiño, 24, a resident of the village of Agbatuan, Anilao, Iloilo served as a substitute teacher at Apurillo Memorial Elementary School in Anilao, Iloilo. Her contract ended on December 7.

Benidicto handed over a sachet of shabu to the police poseur-buyer for PHP1,100. Seven more sachets of shabu, with an estimated value of PHP7,700, were also recovered after a further search.

The chief of police said that Aquiño, who denied involvement in any illegal drug activity, was arrested for conspiracy. Aquiño said that she just met with her friend to buy some gifts for Christmas.

“I trusted her but I did not know that they have a case like that,” she said, adding that no illegal drugs were recovered from her possession.

She maintained that she is not guilty of the allegations that she helped in the transactions.

“I am a substitute teacher and I do not have any intentions to do illegal activities,” she said.

The suspects are now detained at the Molo Police Station for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. (PNA)