THE Police Regional Office (PRO) in Negros Island Region (NIR) is seeking custody of the region's top drug suspect Ricky Serenio.

The motion for transfer of custody, which was filed before Bacolod City Regional Trial Court Branch 54 Judge Eduardo Sayson on Tuesday, was signed by Superintendent Stephen Budong of PRO-NIR Legal Services and conformed by Senior Superintendent Francisco Esguerra, chief of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-NIR.

Serenio, who is believed to be the bagman of Berya drug group, was put under the custody of Moises Padilla Mayor Magdaleno Peña, a Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency consultant, and his son Pulupandan Mayor Miguel Peña, following the urgent motion for protective custody filed on January 13 by the suspect, who is now detained at Pulupandan Municipal Police Station.

The PRO-NIR noted that Serenio’s motion is good for 30 days and can be extended for another 30 days upon the approval of the court.

The commitment order was issued based on the claim of Serenio that his life is in danger if he will be detained at the Talisay City Police Station or the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology facility in Bacolod City as rogue policemen or drug syndicate may hire detention prisoners to kill him due to his statement against the policemen, other law enforcers, politician and the media, the motion said.

“Considering the revelations made by the accused, we recognize the threats to his safety. Thus, the PRO-18 has built a custodial facility inside the camp specifically at the newly-renovated CIDG-18 building to serve as the temporary detention of the accused,” the motion said.

The facility was made to minimize the risk of having to transport Serenio from the Pulupandan Police Station to the Bacolod RTC whenever his presence is required by the court, it added.