THE Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 54 in Bacolod City granted the motion of top drug suspect Ricky Serenio for a 30-day extension of his custody under the Pulupandan Municipal Police Station despite posting bail for grave coercion charges.

Senior Inspector Armilyn Vargas, public information officer of Police Regional Office-Negros Island Region (PRO-NIR), confirmed Monday that RTC Branch 54 Judge Eduardo Sayson granted Serenio’s motion last February 17.

Serenio was placed under the protective custody of Moises Padilla Mayor Magdaleno Peña, a Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency consultant, and his son Pulupandan Mayor Miguel Peña after he was arrested last month.

Before Serenio filed a motion for the extension of his protective custody, he also posted bail for P120,000 on his grave coercion charges and was ordered released by the same judge last January 20. However, due to his separate charges for illegal possession of explosives, he is still placed under police custody.

He is still under the watch of Pulupandan Municipal Police Station for another 30 days, Vargas said.

Serenio requested the same court for a reinvestigation of his illegal possession of explosives case as he was “not able to participate, air his side and properly defend himself” in the preliminary investigation before the Prosecutor’s Office because of “threats to his life and family.”

The PRO-NIR sought the custody of Serenio from the same court, but it has yet to decide on the said motion.