Police form task group to probe killings of trader, wife
Police have formed a special investigation task group (SITG) to run after the assailant who shot Iloilo businessman and alleged drug lord Melvin Odicta and his wife in Caticlan, Aklan province on Monday.
Amid speculation that the Odicta couple were killed in a police operation, an SITG was created “to dig deeper [into] the possible cause of the incident (and to identify) the culprits.”
Western Visayas Police Regional Director Chief Supt. Jose Gentiles directed his men to conduct in-depth investigation for the possible identification and arrest of the suspects and to immediately file the necessary case in court.
Melvin, 66, was tagged as the “biggest drug lord in Iloilo” and was considered the “number one drug personality” in the province along with his wife Meriam, 52.
The couple were gunned down almost four days after meeting with Interior Secretary Ismael “Mike” Sueño at Camp Crame in Quezon City to deny their alleged drug links.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier described the Iloilo province as the “most shabulized” in the country.
Aklan police said the couple were shot by still unidentified suspects who fled on foot and went toward a dark portion of the port, beside a parked truck.
The task group will be composed of Senior Supt. Alfredo Valdez, deputy director for operations of Western Visayas regional police, as SITG supervisor, Senior Supt. John Mitchell Jamili of Aklan Provincial Police Office as SITG commander; Chief Insp. Ray Cuanico, as assistant commander; SPO1 Nida Gregas, as spokesperson; Chief Insp. Dennis Gabihan, Chief Insp. Bernard Ufano, Supt. Ulyssis Ortiz, SPO2 Noel Monares, Supt. Ariel Galeno as members and SPO1 Jaime Nerviol Jr., as case investigator.
The Western Visayas police also condemned the shooting incident and extended their condolences to the Odicta family./rga
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