An alleged drug lord based in Carmen, Bohol who previously evaded arrest in the town was collared by police in Mendez town, Cavite on Wednesday.
The Quezon City Police District said they were tipped off by an informant on the whereabouts of Erico Digal, Central Visayas’ fifth most wanted drug suspect, prior to the arrest.
Acting on the tip, police later mobilized and arrested Digal in Barangay Anuling Lejos 2 in Mendez through an arrest warrant issued by the Regional Trial Court Branch 51 in Carmen, Bohol, according to ABS-CBN News.
Digal reportedly admitted to having been connected to slain alleged drug lord Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz and Franz Sabalones, a former Cebu City traffic enforcer who allegedly rose to become a millionaire drug trafficker.
“Siya ay malaking link sa Bohol province. Kasi si Jaguar at si France Sabalones ay sa Cebu. Inamin niya ang koneksiyon niya,” Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-National Capital Region chief Sr. Supt. Wilson Asueta told ABS-CBN.
In October 2016, joint police operatives from Bohol and Cebu raided the Digal family’s ancestral home Carmen, Bohol but the suspect was not in the residence.
Authorities instead arrested Digal’s younger brother, Romeo, who was inside the house during the raid which also yielded shabu with an estimated value of P118,000 and P1.4 million in cash.
Police also recovered an unlicensed .38-caliber revolver and a grenade inside the house.
After his arrest on Wednesday, Digal told authorities that he underwent a drug rehabilitation program and decided not to return to Bohol due to the raid.
“Tumigil naman ako kase ipinarehab ako ng mga magulang ko. Hindi na ako umuwi sa amin kase nagkaroon ng raid sa amin kaya sabi ng magulang ko, Anuling na muna. Kase time na yon, wala naman ako sa amin, nasa rehab,” he said in the same interview with national media.
Earlier, reports indicated that Digal grew his drug business out of Carmen town through the protection of an influential individual before President Duterte launched his anti-drug campaign in 2016.
Local police however have not identified the alleged drug protector.