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WV anti-drug unit reshuffle looms

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The entire anti-drug team of the Western Visayas police could be reshuffled following a controversial raid on the family of slain suspected Western Visayas drug personality Melvin Odicta.

Western Visayas police head Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao said the raid has prompted him to consider replacing the entire team of the Regional Drug Enforcement Unit (RDEU)-6.

“It is my belief that units such as RDEU should be clean and credible,” Bulalacao said.

“Ayokong magduda ang mga tao sa unit. Kasi kung may ginawa silang kalokohan sa nasabing operasyon, maaaring may ginawa rin sila in previous operations,” he added.

He was referring to the controversy involving RDEU-6 personnel, following the raid against the family of Odicta.

Bulalacao said his decision would depend on the result of the investigation on the raid led by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in December 2018.

However, he did not give any deadline for the submission of the investigation results.

Last month, Bulalaaco ordered the relief of seven RDEU-6 personnel following the controversial raid against Nilda Regalado, the sister-in-law of Odicta’s wife Meriam.

PRO-6 indicated one of them holds the rank of Police Senior Inspector, one SPO2, one Police Officer (PO)3, three PO2s, and a PO1.

They were part of the team that raided the Regalados’ house at Barangay Sambag, Jaro, Iloilo City on Dec. 13, 2018.

The Regalado matriarch, 84-year old Candelaria, claimed irregularities in the raid, and filed administrative and criminal complaints against eight PDEA members and six RDEU personnel.

She said the officers “looted, took and carried away against my will and consent my personal properties that were being kept at my house.”

Also, she said they “destroyed the closets and drawers where I kept my valuable belongings with a clear intent to gain.”

Candelaria claimed they lost P2.466 million worth of valuables.

Aside from Nilda, the raiding team also arrested her husband Arnulfo and Arnulfo’s brothers, Cyril Regalado, 51, and Leo Regalado, 48.

The RDEU earlier said they were merely the support team while PDEA operatives scoured the Regalados’ house.

On the other hand, PDEA failed to file an inquest case against the Regalados before their detention period expired.

PDEA blamed their broken down printer and photocopying machine as reasons for the delay.

They released the four suspects and later file a case against them for violating Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002).