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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, July 20, 2016
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Top suspect surrenders

The spate of killings involvingsuspects in the illegal drug trade all over the countryis continuing to gain ground, prompting an alleged known drug personality in Negros Occidental to surface yesterday to clear his name.

The number of surrendered drug pushers and users in the Negros Island Region, under the PNP Oplan Tokhang campaign,has risen to almost 16,000, aside from the apprehension of 115 drug peddlers and 16 users, in line with the Oplan Double Barrel campaign.

Two have been killed, including a former police officer, in the anti-drug campaign.

Edgar Mellama, alias Tolikoy, however, explained yesterday that he was forced to surface, in order clear his name before Chief Supt. Conrado Capa, NIR regional police director, and Senior Supt. William Señoron, provincial police director of Negros Occidental, to disprove allegations that he is drug personality.

Mellama admitted that he got many death threats, and was puzzled why his name is included in the police drug watchlist.

He also expressed willingness to cooperate with the police, in whatever way he can to help stop the proliferation of illegal drugs in Negros Occidental.

Señoron yesterday confirmed that Mellama of Escalante City, is one of the top drug personalities in Negros Occidental, based on numerous reports, even from Camp Crame.

Two other alleged drug personalities in Negros Occidental have already been neutralized by the police, they are Rene Lim, who was arrested last week in Cauayan, and Alain Gamboa, who surrendered to Silay City Mayor Mark Golez.

John Chiong, chairman of Kasanag Foundation, an affiliate organization of Citizen's Crime Watch in Negros Occidental, yesterday confirmed that Mellama was among those on the list of 30 of individuals linked to illegal drugs and gambling activities they submitted to the Police Regional Office 18, for validation.

But Chiong said Mellama was only on the list of alleged “gambling lords”, and not in the illegal drug trade.

Even when he was still with the Regional Intelligence Unit 6, Señoron said the name of Mellama always cropped up in numerous reports they received from their field units.

“That makes him(Mellama) very popular”, he added.

But Señoron said they cannot arrest him, in the absence of an arrest warrant, although there were cases filed against him, which had been dismissed.

Mellama was subjected yesterday to profiling, where his picture and other personal information, as well as finger prints, were taken.*GPB







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