BACOLOD CITY: The wife of former Berya drug group bagman Ricky Serenio is seeking the help of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate her husband’s murder.
Mrs. Serenio, who requested not to reveal her first name for her family’s safety, denied the allegations of law enforcers that her husband had returned to illegal drug activities.
According to her, after relocating to Pulupandan town two years ago, they started a money lending business using the allowance provided by former Moises Padilla mayor Magdaleno Peña.
She said the notebooks recovered by the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO), contain the names of those who borrowed money from them. Serenio pointed out the names listed on the notebooks are not “code names.”
They had at least 40 clients in the town and neighboring Bago City, she said, all of whom were small business owners, with collections done daily by her husband.
The wife also added she wanted the NBI to handle the investigation because they do not trust the police, as Ricky had earlier linked several police officers in the province to the illegal drugs trade.
Aside for Mrs. Serenio, their business partner, who also requested anonymity, affirmed she owned the car being driven by Ricky at the time of his murder.
She also denied police reports the bank books, which were also recovered in the vehicle, do not contain millions of pesos.
Earlier on Thursday, BCPO Director Col. Henry Biñas, confirmed the “persons of interest” in Serenio’s murder were already discharged from the hospital and released from police custody.
According to Biñas, the two individuals, identified as Allan Bustamante and Jomar Dumip-ig, were downgraded from suspects to “persons of interest” as they were still collecting evidence which could link them to the murder.
The BCPO director said paraffin tests on both suspects and Serenio’s remains came out negative as investigators were still trying to find witnesses who could definitively point to Bustamante and Dumip-ig as the suspects.
Since no charges have been filed against the two, they were free to go, Biñas said.