MANILA - The fifth most wanted drug personality in Central Visayas has been arrested in Mendez town, Cavite, police said Wednesday.
Chief Insp. Garman Manabat, chief of the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)-Quezon City Police District, said they first received word that suspect Erico Digal was hiding in Metro Manila.
"May lumapit po sa ating isang informant, alam nya na itong particular subject ay may alam sa illegal drug activity sa Region 7. So, we conducted verification po sa Region 7, same description. Nagpadala po sa atin ng warrant, at nag-match po sa description ng informant," he said.
According to CIDG-National Capital Region (CIDG-NCR) Chief Senior Supt. Wilson Asueta, it was October 2016 when Bohol-Cebu Police first conducted a raid on Digal’s house in Poblacion, Carmen, Bohol. But Digal managed to escape and only his younger brother was arrested.
"Dati nang naging subject ng search warrant ang kanilang bahay. Nagkataon na wala siya doon sa kanyang bahay," Asueta said.
On Wednesday, authorities were able to arrest Digal in Barangay Anuling Lejos 2, Mendez, Cavite by virtue of arrest warrant issued by Regional Trial Court Branch 51 of Carmen, Bohol.
Asueta said Digal is allegedly connected to the big-time drug personalities in Central Visayas identified by President Rodrigo Duterte, namely alias Jaguar and France Sabalones.
"Siya ay malaking link sa Bohol province. Kasi si Jaguar at si France Sabalones ay sa Cebu. Inamin niya ang koneksiyon niya," he said.
Digal even admitted to having close connections to the alleged drug personalities. "Sila ang contact ko na nagbibigay sakin ng source ng drugs," he said.
"Tumigil naman ako kase ipinarehab ako ng mga magulang ko. Hindi na ako umuwi sa amin kase nagkaroon ng raid sa amin kaya sabi ng magulang ko, Anuling na muna. Kase time na yon, wala naman ako sa amin, nasa rehab," he added.
Manabat said Digal stayed in Metro Manila and nearby provinces for almost 4 months.
“Based sa interview natin sa kanya kanina, he was informed by her mother na nagkaroon ng raid sa bahay nila. After that, hindi na siya bumalik, hindi na siya umuwi sa Bohol," he said.
Asueta said they are continuing the manhunt against high-value targets involved in illegal drugs operation.
"As per instruction of our Chief PNP and Director of the CIDG, we will continue to conduct manhunt operation against those drug personalities particularly those with warrants of arrest," he said.