Press Release
February 2, 2016


The fight against illegal drugs cuts across all cities and provinces in the country, said Sen. Grace Poe, who continued today the investigation on the brazen attempt by alleged members of a local drug syndicate to attack a radio station in Iloilo.

Poe, chair of the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, conducted a public hearing at the Senate following a legislative meeting at the Iloilo provincial capitol building on Dec. 10, 2015.

In her opening statement, Poe said she hopes that the hearing would merit action from the national government in the war against illegal drugs.

"Nais nating ipakita na ang ating laban kontra iligal na droga ay walang pinipiling lugar o siyudad o probinsya, walang pinipiling personalidad, walang pinipiling oras at walang atrasan," said Poe.

Poe invited to the hearing provincial, city, and barangay officials of Iloilo, officials from the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, members of the local media, and the station manager of Aksyon Radyo Iloilo, which was allegedly the target of the local drug syndicate.

In November 2015, around 20 armed men stormed into the premises of Aksyon Radyo. Three of the men were identified from CCTV footages: Melvin Odicta Sr., the group's leader; Melvin Odicta Jr., his son; and Jesus "Jing Jing" Espinosa, a barangay kagawad of Monica-Blumentritt.

The dubious release from prison of Odicta Sr. and Espinosa is also something that Poe wants investigated.

The hearing also seeks to encourage local government, barangay officials, and ordinary citizens to participate in the fight against illegal drugs.

"Nais nating ipakita ang kagandahang naidudulot ng partisipasyon at kooperasyon ng ating Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils at ang ating local government units hanggang sa lebel ng barangay. Nais din nating ipakita na handa tayong pagtibayin at palakasin ang ating mga batas upang tugunan ang kaakibat na paglala ng problema ng ilegal na droga," said Poe.

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