77 wanted persons collared in 2018

THE Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) arrested 77 most wanted persons in 2018.

Senior Supt. Marlon tayaba, IPPO director, said they arrested six most wanted persons in Dumanags, five in Maasin and four in the towns of Lambunao, Ajuy ang Barotac Viejo.

The number of total arrested wanted persons in 2018 reached 743, Tayaba said.

“Nagkaroon kasi kami ng system ng tracking ng mga wanted persons kaya medyo madami-dami ‘yung accomplishment namin ngayon,” he said.

The IPPO director hopes to maintain its accomplishment in 2019.

“Sana ma-account namin lahat ng mga warrant of arrest na nasa amin,” he said.

For 2019, the IPPO will continue its operation to arrest persons with monetary reward and categorized as ‘regional most wanted persons.’

On top of the list is Ernesto “Erning” Bolivar, who is now the alleged top suspected drug personality in Western Visayas.

Bolivar, 41, used to reside at Barangay Guinacas, Pototan. He allegedly leads the Prevendido Drug Group, one of the major drug groups operating in the region, and also had dealings with the Odicta Drug Group.

The Odicta Drug Group used to be the top dog in the illegal drug trade until the death of its leader, Melvin Odicta Sr., and his wife Meriam in August 2016.

The Police Regional Office (PRO)-6 placed Bolivar as the next target after the death of Richard Prevendido and son Jason during a drug raid at a subdivision in Barangay Balabago, Jaro district of Iloilo City, on September 2017.

Tayaba believed that Bolivar stays outside of the province.

“Pabalik-pabalik lang siya dito sa Iloilo. Nakikita natin isa pa rin siya sa nagpaparating ng illegal drugs dito sa probinsya ng Iloilo kahit sa city kasi siya ang nakaalam ng mga connections kung saan kukuha ng illegal drugs,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tayaba reported that the Iloilo police accounted for the most number of loose firearms in Western Visayas.

Tayaba said that increased from 547 in 2017 to 2,992 confiscated firearms in 2018.

Calinog town topped the list of the most number of confiscated firearms with 141, followed by Lambunao with 136 and Santa Barbara with 134.

“‘Yung iba ang sinu-surrender lang nila yung defective, ang iba ayaw nila isurender,” Tayaba said.

He continues to call to the public to report to the police the persons they know who still possess illegal guns.

“We believe na with cooperation of everybody tapos yung nag surrender ng firearms nila ay ma-limit yung incident natin na involving firearms,” he said.