by Nino Luces
SORSOGON CITY – An alleged right hand of a suspected drug lord was arrested at an upscale island beach resort off Matnog Saturday accompanied by six agents of the Department of Justice (DoJ).
Senior Inspector Malu Calubaquib, spokesman of the Police Regional Office 5 (PRO-5), identified the suspect as Reynaldo Diaz, alias “James Tan.”
Diaz was presented to Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa who confirmed the suspect’s link with Peter “Jaguar” Lim, earlier named by President Duterte as a big-time drug lord based in Cebu.
Diaz also had a pending warrant of arrest issued by Judge Anarica Castillo Royos of RTC Branch 83, Nueva Ecija for frustrated murder.
Joint elements of the Matnog MPS, Regional Mobile Unit (RMU5), Provincial Public Safety Command (PPSC) and the Philippine Army swooped down on the Subic Saday Beach Resort aboard several boats at 6 p.m. after receiving information of the presence of armed men.
The six armed men introduced themselves as members of the Witness Protection Program Intelligence Service Operations Group (WPP-ISOG) of the DoJ and presented their credentials. They claimed to be escorting a “very important person” (VIP).
That VIP turned out to be Diaz who was accosted in the grassy portion of the resort while trying to flee.
Diaz did not carry any identification card with him upon his arrest, but introduced himself to the arresting officers.
The six DoJ personnel were identified as Raul Relojas, Sandy Odicta, Rodolfo Abapo Jr., Elmer Labay, Charlice Ganosa and Niño Carlo Paraiso.
Police were still verifying the authenticity of the credentials presented by the DoJ agents, according to PNP provincial director Ronaldo Cabral.
Confiscated from the DoJ agents were different types of high powered rifles such as four M-16 rifles, two caliber 45 Colt, two caliber 45 Taurus and NFM, two caliber 45, 14 pieces magazine for M-16 rifle, 14 pieces magazine for caliber 45, 351 pieces of ammunition for M-16 and 117 pieces of ammunition for caliber 45.
Diaz and his DoJ “escorts” were brought to Matnog MPS before their transfer to the DOJ offices in Manila.
Dela Rosa was the guest of honor during the 115th Police Service Anniversary at Camp General Simeon Ola on Friday. He also visited Naga City to join the Peñafrancia Festival and graced the blessing of the new Albay Police Provincial Office in Ligao City yesterday.