Duterte on alleged Iloilo drug lord: He was being hunted

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte expressed no surprise that suspected drug lord Melvin "Boyet" Odicta Sr has been shot dead.

Speaking in Catbalogan, Samar on Monday, August 29, hours after Odicta was killed at Caticlan Port, Duterte said he firmly believes Odicta was a top drug lord in Iloilo.

It was only a matter of time until Odicta would be hunted down by people who would see him as a threat.

"'Yang Odicta was really being hunted. Sa Iloilo, siya ang number one. Inabot siya ng malas," said Duterte. (That Odicta was really being hunted. In Iloilo, he is the number one [drug lord]. Bad luck caught up with him.)

Asked for comment about Odicta's killing, the President said, "That is not my problem. He is wanted and he is the number one drug lord." Odicta was shot with his wife early Monday.

Odicta, he said, chose his fate by deciding, allegedly, to facilitate the sale of drugs.

"I cannot say anything good or bad, wala ako – kasi 'yun ang napili niya eh (I have nothing – that's what he chose)," said Duterte.

Odicta, Duterte seemed to say, dealt even with local government officials.

"He was corrupting everybody lahat, pati 'yung governors (all, even the governors)," he said.

Odicta, who was shot that morning along with his wife Merriam Regalado Odicta, had met with Interior Secretary Mike Sueno barely a week ago after Duterte called on drug personalities to surrender themselves to the appropriate authorities.

Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa said Odicta had sent out "surrender feelers with conditions" but the deal with law enforcers did not push through.

Odicta was on the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) watch list of drug personalities of Iloilo. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.