Ex-PRO-6 intel, drug czar to head Iloilo City’s anti-drug, intel unit 

Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Benitez (center) (PRO-6/RPIO photo)

By Jennifer P. Rendon 

Could Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Benitez Jr.‘s vast experience and expertise in anti-drug enforcement and intelligence fields spell a difference in Iloilo City’s anti-criminality campaign?

“I’m betting on that. When I assumed post, my main priority is to reinvigorate the campaign against illegal drugs. That’s why, I requested for Lieutenant Colonel Benitez’s reassignment at the Iloilo City Police Office,” Colonel Joeresty Coronica, Iloilo City police chief, said.

Effective February 6, Benitez was designated as the concurrent chief of ICPO’s City Drug Enforcement Unit (CDEU) and the City Intelligence Unit (CIU).

“He could incorporate the information that he will gather from both units. Whatever the reports the CIU will get relative to illegal drugs, the CDEU could implement it,” Coronica said.

Lieutenant Greg Matutino, who was earlier designated as CDEU officer-in-charge, will be Benitez’s deputy chief while Major Jose Val Ladublan, the former Iloilo City Police Station 2 chief, will still be CIU’s deputy chief.

Benitez brings to ICPO the skills and knowledge he gained as deputy chief of the Regional Intelligence Division of the Police Regional Office 6.

On June 22, 2022, he was designated as the Regional Police Drug Enforcement Unit (RPDEU) 6 only to be relieved on August 16.

A month after that, he was awarded PRO-6’s Best Junior police commissioned officer (PCO) for Administration during the 121st Police Service Anniversary (PSA).

It can be noted Benitez’s assignment to ICPO came after a massive revamp last week.