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‘Dragon’ kin vow to back drug war

/ 12:45 AM September 03, 2016
NEIGHBORS and workers of slain alleged drug lord Melvin Odicta and wife, Meriam, wait at the gate of the Odicta residence in Barangay Malipayon in Iloilo City after the remains of the couple arrived on Wednesday. NESTOR P. BURGOS/INQUIRER VISAYAS

NEIGHBORS and workers of slain alleged drug lord Melvin Odicta and wife, Meriam, wait at the gate of the Odicta residence in Barangay Malipayon in Iloilo City after the remains of the couple arrived on Wednesday. NESTOR P. BURGOS/INQUIRER VISAYAS

ILOILO CITY—The family of slain suspected drug lord Melvin Odicta, alias “Dragon,” and wife, Meriam, has assured President 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 Director General Ronald dela Rosa for the security of the family and the children of the couple.

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“I and the Odicta family are calling on our President Digong Duterte and Police Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa,” said Noel Odicta, brother of Melvin and chair of Barangay Tanza Esperanza in this city, in a press conference just outside the Odicta compound, which straddles Tanza Esperanza and another village, Malipayon.

Noel said the relatives of the Odictas are “asking for understanding and forgiveness for the couple.”

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A lone assailant gunned down the couple early on Aug. 29 at the Caticlan port in Malay town in Aklan, shortly after they disembarked from a roll-on, roll-off vessel from Batangas on their way home to Iloilo.

Police have not identified the gunman or those behind the killing of Odicta who had been identified by both the President and Dela Rosa as one of Western Visayas’ top drug lords.

Investigators have surmised that the couple could have been ordered killed by drug syndicates and their protectors fearing exposure after the victims met with Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno on Aug. 25.

Noel said relatives of the couple feared for their safety because they were unaware of who could be targeting them.

When asked by the Inquirer if the appeals 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 family of the couple is no longer interested in filing any case or pursuing the investigation to identify the gunman and mastermind in the killings.

“It is their children’s wish to have peace and to move on with their lives,” Noel said.

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The slain couple had no child of their own but Melvin’s seven children from two previous relationships had been living with them. They also have six grandchildren.

The grandchildren have stopped going to school after the killing of the couple, according to Noel.

Supt. Gilbert Gorero, spokesperson of the Western Visayas police, said authorities respected the family’s decision not to press charges but asked the Odictas’ relatives to put this in writing because a special investigation task group had been created to solve the killings.

Noel said the family would comply with requests from the police.

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TAGS: death, Illegal drugs, Melvin Odicta, news, Regions
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