PDEG tags Bilibid ‘drug lord’ as source of 4.5 kilos of ‘shabu’

THE police said the 4.5 kilos of “shabu” worth P30.6 million seized during a drug bust in Cebu City that resulted in the deaths of two suspected pushers came from a “drug lord” who is currently an inmate of the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.

The inmate supported the candidacy of a politician in the past elections, according to an official connected to the Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG) in Camp Crame without presenting evidence.

Despite his incarceration, the inmate still continues to engage in drug trafficking, the PDEG official said without elaborating as to why the authorities failed to stop the inmate’s illegal activities.

The inmate reportedly belongs to the Bilibid 19, a group of high-profile convicts who were found with drugs and other contraband items during a controversial raid in 2014 when Sen. Leila de Lima was still the secretary of the Justice Department.

Pushers’ profile

Lieutenant Colonel Regino Maramag, head of the PDEG in Central Visayas, said the slain pushers John Kerlou Pojas, 22, and Ryan Bendibel, 30, had been in prison for criminal offenses.

Pojas, a resident of Lapu-Lapu City, had served time in a penal colony in Abuyog, Leyte for committing murder in Bohol. It was during his time in the penal colony that Pojas befriended a fellow inmate, who was later transferred to Bilibid, said Maramag.

Tabuelan native Bendibel was imprisoned in Danao City after he was caught selling illegal drugs in 2016, but he was later released after he entered into a plea bargaining agreement with the court.

The police said Bendibel and Pojas came to know each other as both were underlings of Alvaro “Barok” Alvaro, an alleged drug lord who surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation 7 after alleged drug lord Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz was killed in a Cebu police operation in Las Piñas in 2016.

The two alleged pushers worked for Alvaro as hitmen.

Pojas and Bendibel were killed in what the police said was a shootout on a vacant lot at the South Road Properties in Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City on Thursday night, July 8.

Investigation shows that the package containing the illegal drugs arrived at the warehouse of a cargo company last Monday, July 5.

Pojas claimed the package the following day.

The illegal drugs were placed underneath rolls of tissue paper and packs of diapers inside a carton.

Investigating Barok

In a separate interview, Maj. Alejandro Batobalonos told Superbalita Cebu that he received information that the illegal drugs seized from Pojas and Bendibel were for Alvaro.

The police official said the group of Alvaro was supposed to receive six kilos of “shabu,” but more than a kilo was already distributed.

The car used by Pojas and Bendibel came from a rent-a-car facility in Mandaue City. They reportedly rented the car for P30,000 and started using it last June 30.

Batobalonos said despite Alvaro’s imprisonment, the latter still continued to engage in drug trafficking by employing Pojas and Bendibel. (AYB/KAL)