The remnants of the Odicta drug group believed responsible for the proliferation of illegal drugs in Western Visayas were arrested by authorities Monday in Iloilo City.
Newly designated Western Visayas Police director Chief Supt John Bulalacao said the four suspects included two brothers of Melvin Odicta Sr., who were alleged henchmen of the high-profile drug lord in Iloilo who was killed along with his wife Meriam in 2016.
Bulalacao identified the suspects as Noel Odicta, alias “Kap Nene,” brother of Melvin and current village chief of Brgy. Tanza Ezperanza; Jerry Odicta, another brother of Melvin; Abrahan Orada alias Abraham Odicta, a retired soldier and security to Melvin Odicta; and Andrew Altas.
Melvin Odicta Sr. and his wife were on board a 2go Ro-Ro ship and were alighting from the Caticlan Port when shot dead by two other suspects.
Days after Odicta was mentioned by President Rodrigo Duterte in his narco list, he immediately reported to the office of then-Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa to clear his complicity in illegal drugs.
Bulalacao said the suspects were arrested by virtue of search warrants issued by Judge Victor Gelvezon, Acting Executive Judge, 6th Judicial Region Branch 36.
During the search, authorities recovered different kinds of firearms and ammunition, but no drugs.
Bulalacao said the raiding team from combined police units recovered a hand grenade, one .45 cal. Pistol, and two magazines and bullets from Noel Odicta; one cal. 38 revolver from Jerry Odicta; one .45 and a .38 caliber pistols from Abraham Orada.
Also arrested during the search was Vic Dela Pena, a helper of Noel Odicata, for obstruction of justice.
“We encourage all those who continue to be involved in the trade of illegal drugs and other forms of criminalities to cease from their activities,” Bulalacao said.
He said drug personalities should “surrender to authorities in the soonest time possible and refrain from putting up a fight against arresting police officers to avoid the unnecessary injury or death on the part of both suspects and authorities.”