Drug boss says 35 PNP men getting payola

Martian Muyco, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 10 2017 09:25 AM | Updated as of Jan 10 2017 11:58 AM

Negros Island police director, Chief Superintendent Renato Gumban speaks at a press conference as Ricky Serenio, a self-confessed drug lord, stands behind him wearing a bullet proof vest.

MANILA - An alleged top drug supplier in Negros region claimed Monday that he gives hundreds of thousands of pesos every week to at least 35 personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Ricky Serenio, the region's number one drug personality, was arrested Saturday by operatives of the Regional Special Operations Task Group who served him an arrest warrant for grave coercion.

In a press conference yesterday, Serenio revealed that 15 commissioned PNP officers and 20 non-commissioned personnel from Negros Occidental and Bacolod City are in his drug payola.

Each receives P30,00 to P125,000 in drug payoffs every week, the drug kingpin claimed.

Serenio added that aside from members of the PNP, he also gives drug money to several government officials, operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, judges and members of the media in Negros.

He refused to name the allegedly drug-tainted personalities pending the execution of his sworn affidavit.

The Police Regional Office 18 said Serenio is a "big fish" in the narcotics trade.

He is considered a level 3 drug personality as his illegal dealings span the whole province of Negros Occidental.

Authorities are eyeing Serenio's possible inclusion in the Witness Protection Program.