“If you’re going to kick authority in the teeth, you might as well use two feet.”
— Keith Richards
By Alex P. Vidal
NEW YORK CITY — Sometime in 1996, a friend in Iloilo City requested us to interview Richard Prevendido alyas “Buang”, who was then detained at the Iloilo Rehabilitation Center or the old provincial jail on Bonifacio Drive, City Proper.
Aside from this writer, five other Iloilo mediamen selected by our friend accompanied the group.
We had no idea who Prevendido was and why he would be accorded a privilege of facing a group of selected reporters while under detention.
We had no idea that he was also known as “Buang” (crazy), but the friend said he was a “victim of false charges.”
“What were the charges?” we inquired.
Violation of Republic Act 6425 or the Dangerous Drugs Act 1972, we were told.
Pevendido, who had tattoos in the body, appealed in Hiligaynon that he should be released “as soon as possible because I am innocent and I never engaged in selling of illegal drugs.”
Jail authorities allowed the 15-minute interview but Prevendido was not allowed to go out the jail.
We don’t know when was Prevendido released or what happened to the charges filed against him, but when he was out he became active in selling of illegal drugs, according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
I read in the Philippine news that the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) headed by Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. has approved the recommendation of Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) Director Harold Tuzon to provide additional reward to those who can furnish information leading to the arrest of Prevendido and other drug personalities in Iloilo.
This was on top of the bounty offered by the Iloilo City Government through the Iloilo City Peace and Order Council (CPOC).
The reward has reached P1 million, as of this writing.
Prevendido, according to the PDEA, is now the No. 1 drug personality in Western Visayas.
He is now considered as “drug lord”, according to reports.
Other drug personalities with rewards for their arrest included: Ariel Prevendido of Barangay Bakhaw, Mandurriao (P10,000); Troy John Prevendido of Barangay Bakhaw (P10,000); Ana Penecilla y Prevendido of Barangay Bakhaw (P10,000); Romeo Penecilla y Pudadera alias “Boyet” of Tanza Rizal Estanzuela, City Proper (P10,000); Rampart Gregori of Barangay Desamparados, Jaro (P10,000); Errol Barcebas of Iloilo City (P10,000); Jessica Mino of Molo, Iloilo City (P10,000); Ma. Beauty Dela Cruz of Barangay Bakhaw, Mandurriao (P10,000); and Niven Dejeron of Barangay Desamparados, Jaro (P10,000).