VILLAGE chief Federico Gayagas Jr. of Bacong Montilla in Bago City, Negros Occidental, who was arrested following a shootout with police in Bacolod City last Tuesday, is a confidential informant (CI) of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

This was confirmed Friday by Julius Navales, regional director of PDEA in Negros Island Region, following Gayagas’s admission that he was recruited as an asset of the agency to lead the arrest of Jaime “Morito” Benares.

Navales said that PDEA-NIR recently recruited Gayagas as an informant intended for the apprehension of Benares, the cousin of William Chua who was arrested together with his son and 11 others after they yielded P900,000 worth of illegal drugs earlier this year.

Gayagas, who is confined at Bacolod Adventist Medical Center, told visiting reporters yesterday that he is an asset of PDEA through Moises Padilla Mayor Magdaleno Peña, a PDEA-NIR consultant.

He added that PDEA personnel and an informant from Police Station 7 coordinated with him to plan the arrest of Benares, who has a pending arrest warrant for drug cases.

“I was given the responsibility to monitor Benares until he is arrested,” he added.

On September 13, Gayagas, along with his cousin Rodolfo Gayagas Jr., a councilman in Bacong Montilla, and driver Samson Gonzaga were supposed to meet Benares and Renante Firmias in Bago City to sell him a shotgun.

The latter instead told him to hold the meet-up in Bacolod City.

Upon the validation of the transaction, Gayagas said he texted the informant and got an instruction for the planned apprehension of Benares.

The operation led to a shootout that caused the death of Gayagas's cousin Rodolfo Gayagas Jr., and injury to Federico Gayagas Jr., and John Abong.

The five are facing charges for possession of illegal drugs and firearms, ammunition and grenade before the Bacolod City Prosecutor’s Office.

Chief Inspector Jovil Sedel, head of Police Station 6, who led the operation, said Gayagas’s inclusion in the case will depend on the fiscal’s decision.

Gayagas has also a pending case for illegal possession of firearms when police previously raided his house and recovered high powered firearms which he claimed had licenses.

Navales said that Gayagas’s identity as informant should have been confidential, but he assured him of his personal security.