MANILA – The police have formed a task force that will look into the killing of alleged drug lord Melvin "Dragon" Odicta and his wife in Caticlan port in Malay, Aklan early Monday, the Palace said.
The Odictas had just alighted from a roll-on roll-off vessel at around 1:30 a.m. Monday when an unidentified assailant hailed bullets on them.
Police rushed the couple to the Malay District Hospital, where they were declared dead by an attending physician.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella quoted Western Visayas police regional director, Chief Superintendent Jose Gentiles as saying that police value the life of individuals and they respect due process.
This, despite President Rodrigo Duterte's earlier statement that appeared to have warned drug syndicates about suffering the same fate as the Odicta couple.
"Sino gustong sumunod dito kay Odicta, bakante ngayon. Patay na raw [Who wants to follow them to the grave? Their positions have been vacated, they're dead]," Duterte said Monday.
Duterte maintained that Melvin alias "Dragon," was involved in illegal drugs not only in Iloilo but in many parts of the Visayas.
READ: Duterte after Odicta couple slay: Who wants to die next?
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) earlier identified Odicta as a top drug kingpin in Iloilo province who went by the name "Dragon" in the underground trade.
Odicta and his wife, Merriam, met with Interior Secretary Mike Sueno on Thursday last week to deny their alleged involvement in drug trafficking.
During the meeting at Camp Crame in Quezon City, the couple allegedly submitted their version of a ''drug matrix'' involving lawmakers and local officials.
READ: Iloilo's most wanted 'Dragon' denies ties to drugs
The Odictas, Sueno said, went to Manila because they felt threatened in Iloilo.