A HIGH-RANKING police official said they will look into the possibility that there are police officers who protected suspected drug lord Rowen “Yawa” Secretaria, who was killed along with two of his alleged underlings in a shootout with the police in Banacon islet of Getafe town, Bohol last Saturday dawn.
Chief Supt. Patrocinio Comendador Jr., Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 director, said an investigation is underway to determine why it took so long to capture Secretaria.
“We want to dig deeper (to determine) whether somebody are protecting them,” he told reporters yesterday.
He said Banacon islet is only 15 to 20 minutes from the mainland Getafe.
The police official also ordered the relief of Senior Insp. Marcelino Mejias as chief of Getafe Police Station for the latter’s failure to arrest Secretaria.
In a phone interview, Mejias said the alleged drug lord was elusive.
“Kana siya dili gyod na siya maingon nga naa nag-standby sa Banacon kay daghan na siyag lugar, Ermita. Nahibaw-an nato naa pod sa Leyte. Di gyod mi kahibawo nga moabot kay kon moabot, mohawa ra pod dayon (It’s difficult to pin him down because he moves from one place to another),” he said.
In 2013, PRO 7 served a search warrant against Secretaria and found P3 million worth of shabu.
Secretaria’s alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade grew big after he served a sentence for a robbery case. He also allegedly distributed illegal drugs in Barangay Ermita, Cebu City.
Comendador said they have no evidence that barangay officials of Ermita and Banacon had knowledge of Secretaria’s business.
Operatives from PRO 7 are tracking down the two brothers of Secretaria, one of whom has a pending arrest warrant for murder, because they are also engaged in illegal drug trade.
“They are level one drug pushers. They are actually along the neck and line of top pushers or drug peddlers here in Cebu, Bohol and Central Visayas areas,” said Comendador.
Comendador said the Secretaria’s siblings are still in Banacon, which became the transshipment point of illegal drugs from Cebu City to Bohol.
A team from the Regional Public Safety Batallion 7 was sent to the islet last Monday to diffuse the violence. Last Sunday, a couple was shot to death reportedly by members of Secretaria’s group for their failure to monitor the police arrival.
Meanwhile, Comendador said they will conduct an investigation on the allegation that there was an overkill.
The official also welcomes other government bodies, like the Commission on Human Rights, to investigate the operation.
He said he understood Banacon residents who sang praises for Secretaria because the suspected drug lord acted like “Robin Hood.”
“We can understand the sentiments of the people. We should not hype it so much because people should be able to distinguish… which is good or evil. I think some are twisting the story to make the police appear as the evil one. Let us determine, let us distinguish who are good or who are on the evil side here,” said Comendador.