• Mayor urges probe of Iloilo armed groups

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    ILOILO CITY: City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog has requested the help of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct an in-depth investigation on several shooting incidents involving loose firearms, alleged presence of armed groups, and the illegal drugs trade in the city.

    Mabilog said the NBI’s expertise in crime solving is vital in the investigation being conducted by the police considering the involvement of alleged big time drug ring syndicate that might compromise the peace and order situation of the city.

    The request was prompted by the presence of armed men last November 19 who entered the premises of the Carlos Uy Building where the broadcast station of Aksyon Radyo is located. Mabilog said he strongly condemns such act of disregarding the rule of law that undermines the freedom of the press or threaten such freedom in any way.

    In his statement issued November 23, Mabilog said that “our gains are unprecedented in the city’s history and these alleged lawlessness should not be allowed to distract our vision.”

    On the other hand, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Reg. Dir. Paul Ledesma confirmed the identification of at least three persons in the video taken by the CCTV camera during the harassment incident at Aksyon Radyo. They were Melvin Odicta Sr., and his son Melvin Jr., all of Brgy. Malipayon, Iloilo, and Jesus “Jingjing” Espinosa Jr., a barangay kagawad (village watchman) of Brgy. Monica.

    Odicta Sr., reportedly took the CCTV camera installed above the iron gate of the building leading to the radio station. The businessman is reportedly the leader of an illegal drug syndicate operating in the city while his son and Espinosa Jr., are his downline supporters.

    Aksyon Radyo has been very vocal about the presence of illegal drug trade in the city and its management is reportedly set to file charges against some 20 persons accompanying Odicta Sr., captured by the CCTV camera.

    Mabilog said he cannot allow lawlessness to derail the gains of economic development and smear the good image of the city being a progressive, peaceful and livable city.

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