ALVARO “Barok” Alvaro, considered as Cebu Province’s top drug lord, has a wide connection of several high-profile drug personalities and local peddlers in Manila, Cebu and Bohol, according to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7.
But the NBI said it will focus on the structure of the syndicate, and not on individual personalities.
The NBI will trace a crucial trail in the illegal drugs syndicate of Alvaro, a close associate of Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz, following his revelations to the agency.
“What we are after is the operational information, not the personalities. What we want is the source of the drugs, the pipeline going to our area and who are the actors of their syndicate are because that will be used in our operation in search warrants and buy-bust,” Atty. Rennan Oliva, chief of the NBI-Bohol, said.
Oliva refused to disclose names lest it jeopardize future operations.
He said they were in Manila last Wednesday because they were trying to locate the drug personalities Alvaro had revealed, to verify the information he had divulged to the NBI.
“Time is of the essence because the targets (that he revealed might have escaped when news broke),” Oliva said.
Yesterday morning, an exchange of information between the police and the NBI 7 agents took place amid the tight security at the NBI compound.
News reporters were barred from entering the gate, which was manned by two guards with long high-powered firearms.
At 9 a.m., Supt. Rex Derilo of the Regional Intelligence Division (RID) of the Police Regional Office 7 visited NBI 7 Regional Director Jose Justo Yap to discuss coordinated operations of the two agencies against illegal drugs.
Five NBI agents surrounded Derilo and frisked him before he was led to the office.
“It’s a simple coordination between two law enforcement agencies as they have their own way and we have ours also, so it’s a normal procedure,” Derilo said.
For his part, Yap said he and Derilo swapped crucial information about Alvaro’s wide network in the drug trade.
He said their interview with Alvaro about his alleged police protectors is still ongoing.
It’s not only the NBI that is interested in Alvaro’s protectors but also the police, Yap said.
But the police are cautious in handling information coming from Alvaro.
Supt. Henry Biñas of PRO 7 said they will give a chance to the police officers to answer the allegations against them during investigation.
“There will be information that we will be cautious about,” said Biñas, the chief of the Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division.
The police official said they will verify the information they got from Barok, who may have an “axe to grind” against cops who conducted operations against him in the past.
Barok, he said, might spill the names of his competitors in the business.
PRO 7 Director Chief Supt. Patrocinio Comendador Jr. said he sent Derilo and Provincial Intelligence Branch Chief Rodolfo Albotra Jr. to the NBI 7 yesterday to coordinate and get information on officers who are engaged in the illegal drug trade.
Comendador said he has talked with the officials of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 7, who said they should share information so they can have an effective campaign against drug personalities.
After being interrogated by the NBI agents, Alvaro was brought to the Regional Trial Court in Mandaue City at 1 p.m. yesterday for the issuance of his commitment order.
Judge Mercedita Dadole-Ygnacio of Branch 28 issued the commitment order. Judge Jerry Dicdican of RTC Danao City was on leave.
Alvaro concealed his face with a scarf. He wore a basketball cap, denim shorts, a shirt and rubber slippers. He had on a bullet-proof vest.
He was accompanied by Oliva and NBI agents in a convoy, which proceeded to the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC).
Alvaro was turned over to the CPDRC management inside the jail at 3:30 p.m., still wearing the bullet-proof vest provided by the NBI.
The management of the CPDRC ensured his safety by installing a security camera inside his detention cell, which will be guarded 24/7.
Marco Toral, CPDRC consultant, said he won’t allow visitors for Alvaro, except his lawyer, for a month.
Alvaro will be in a separate cell just beside Toral’s office and away from the other inmates, as he might be in danger because of the things he knows about the local drug trade.
But if the court grants Alvaro’s request, he might not stay in CPDRC for too long.
The NBI 7 called the sala of Judge Dicdican and reportedly informed his staff that the lawyer of Alvaro plans to file a motion to transfer his detention from Cebu City to NBI Manila.
Lawyer Isidro Bongcayao, Jr., Judge Dicdican’s clerk of court, said though that Alvaro’s counsel has yet to submit his motion to transfer the detention of the accused.
Alvaro surrendered to agents of the NBI in Bohol at 4:30 p.m. last Tuesday.
A team of policemen from Cebu tried to arrest Alvaro last Friday night in Las Piñas, which ended in what police said was a shootout.
Jaguar Diaz and his bodyguard, who were reportedly with Alvaro that time, were killed.
Alvaro is facing criminal cases before the sala of Dicdican in Danao City.
Prosecutor Ferdinand Collantes charged Alvaro with violation of Sec. 11 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, a non-bailable offense.
Alvaro is also facing case for illegal gun possession in the same court.