POLICE Colonel Henry Bi?as, officer-in-charge of Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO), refused to comment on the possible connection of retired Police Major Lito Pirote to slain suspected drug leader Melvin Odicta Sr.
Though he heard such allegation, he said there has been no confirmation about the said report.
Rumors about Pirotefs alleged linkage to Odicta came after President Rodrigo Duterte, during the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino rally in Bacolod City on April 10, said that someone has taken over the latterfs alleged operations in illegal drugs in Western Visayas.
Last week, Pirote was abducted by three unidentified armed men outside a hotel in Bacolod City. He was forcibly taken to a white van and has been missing for five days already.
Police General Oscar Albayalde, chief of Philippine National Police (PNP) earlier said that Pirotefs abduction may be related to the illegal drugs trade, citing reports that his name was included in the drug matrix previously announced by Duterte, along with four other police officials in 2018.
Bi?as said the local police do not have evidence that can prove his alleged involvement in illegal drugs even if it possibly triggered perpetrators to abduct him.
Even, Police Brigadier General John Bulalacao, director of Police Regional Office (PRO)-Western Visayas, cannot confirm Pirotefs inclusion in Dutertefs drug list, adding that he does not want to speculate.
The BCPO has yet to identify Pirotefs abductors as they are having difficulty gathering evidence and testimonies from possible witnesses at the crime scene.
gOur investigation is ongoing but itfs really hard to establish the identities of the armed men because until now the family has not been contacted by the abductors,h Bi?as said.
He, however, believed that Pirote is still within Negros Occidental.
gWefre doing what we can to find him and solve this case as early as possible,h Bi?as said, adding that they even tapped other law enforcement units to aid them in the investigation.
Pirote retired from the police service in January this year. He was last assigned as member of the PNP-Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group.