Odicta family vows to cooperate with gov’t on war vs drugs
ILOILO CITY, Philippines—The family of slain suspected drug lord Melvin Odicta and his wife Meriam has assured President Rodrigo Duterte of their cooperation and support in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.
They also sought the help of the President and Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa in the security of the family and the children of the couple.
“Ako po ay nananawagan kasama ng aming pamilya Odicta sa ating mahal na pangulo Digong Duterte at kay Police Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa na kami’y humihingi ng unawa at kapatawaran para sa mag-asawa (I and the Odicta family are calling on our dear President Digong Duterte and Police Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa to ask for understanding and forgiveness for the couple),” Noel Odicta, younger brother of Melvin, said in a press conference on Friday in front of the Odicta compound in Barangay (village) Tanza Esperenza in Iloilo City.
Noel is the serving his third term as chairman of the village.
A lone assailant gunned down the couple early morning of Aug. 29 at the Caticlan port in Malay town in Aklan, shortly after they disembarked from a roll-on, roll-off craft on their way home to Iloilo.
Police have not identified the gunman or those behind the killing of the Odicta copule, who had been identified by the both the President and Dela Rosa as among the top drug lords in Western Visayas.
Investigators have surmised that the couple could have been ordered killed by drug personalities and their protectors fearing exposure after the victims met with Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno on Aug. 25.
Noel said they are asking for the help of the President and Dela Rosa in ensuring the security of their family because they do not know who might be after them.
When asked by the Inquirer if their appeal for understanding and offer of apology indicate admission of the couple’s involvement in illegal drugs, Noel said: “The President has validated that.”
He reiterated his earlier statement to the Inquirer that the Odicta family is no longer interested in filing any case or pursuing the investigation to identify the killers and those behind the killings of the couple.
“It is their children’s wish to have peace and to move on with their lives,” Noel said.
The slain couple had no children of their own but Melvin’s seven children from two previous relationships were living with them. They also have six grandchildren.
The grandchildren have stopped going to school after the killings of the couple, according to Noel.
Supt. Gilbert Gorero, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office in Western Visayas, said they respect the family’s decision but asked that this should be put in writing because a special investigation task group has been created to solve the killings.
Noel said they will comply with whatever are the requests from the police.
Melvin and Meriam are scheduled to be buried on Sept. 11 at the Forest Lake Memorial Garden in Mandurriao District here after a 2 p.m. Mass at the Tanza Church. RAM/rga
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