SUMMARY EXECUTION? Suspected Odicta drug group member found dead

Police check the crime scene at Barangay Cabug, Bacolod City where suspected Odicta drug group member Nathan Zerrudo was found dead Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of Police Station 9)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – The Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) is probing another case of summary execution of suspected illegal drug syndicate members.

The latest in the list of extrajudicial killings was Nathan Zerrudo, 44, of Tanza, Iloilo City.

Zerrudo was believed to be a member of the Odicta drug group and a high value target drug personality from Pavia, Iloilo

Police Lieutenant Jonito Pastrana, head of Police Station 9, said Zerrudo’s body in a lot at Barangay Cabug here around 6:30 a.m. Thursday.

Zerrudo succumbed to three stab wounds and multiple gunshot wounds, initial investigation indicated.

Pastrana said they recovered from the scene eight empty shells of .45 caliber ammunition, four empty shells of .9mm-caliber ammos, five .22-caliber slugs, and two .45-caliber slugs.

Pastrana said more than three persons may have been responsible for the killing, but they have no lead yet on their identities.

He added that they didn’t know how long Zerrudo had been staying here. He believed that the victim was summarily executed or salvaged, claiming he was probably killed somewhere else and was later dumped in the area.

Pastrana said that based on the recovery, the slugs have no signs of deformation, indicating that the perpetrators probably just threw the items at the scene to make investigators believe that the killing happened there.

“And even the blood on his (Zerrudo) chest from stab wounds was already wiped off,” he added.

Pastrana said they are looking into illegal drugs as possible motive in the killing since Zerrudo was linked to the late suspected Western Visayas drug lord Melvin Odicta.

Odicta and his wife Merriam, who were accused as the biggest illegal drug financers in the region, were shot dead at Caticlan port in Malay, Aklan in August 2016.

Last month, another suspected member of a drug group in Negros Occidental was also found dead at the said village.

Pastrana said they have been conducting roving patrols in the area and other villages under his jurisdiction as well despite the limited number of personnel.

“We cannot assign policemen in secluded areas because of insufficiency of personnel,” he said.

But he assured to strengthen their presence especially when doing visibility patrol in those areas.