Six alleged drug dealers were killed in separate police operations in Nueva Ecija, Laguna and Bulacan as government stepped up its drive to curb illegal drugs weeks ahead of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s inauguration.
Three drug peddlers died in a shootout in Barangay Palestina in San Jose City Nueva Ecija.
Only two of the fatalities were identified. They were Ariel Samonte of Quezon City and Salman Macapunyag of Parañaque.
San Jose police chief Reynaldo dela Cruz said the three suspects were carrying 250 grams of suspected shabu in two plastic containers. The illegal drug had a street value of P500,000.
Also recovered from the suspects were two handguns – a 45 and 38 caliber – and a caliber 22 long rifle and various ammunition.
“These drug dealers were being monitored by the police in different provinces in Region 3. They were identified as big-time suppliers of illegal drugs,” said Dela Cruz.
This brought to 18 the number of alleged drug personalities killed in Nueva Ecija for this month alone, according to Philippine National Police (PNP) records.
PNP provincial director Manuel Cornel said internal rift among drug personalities is seen as reason for the series of killing in the province.
“They are pointing and blaming each other to be in alliance with authorities in crackdown effort” Cornel said. “This is maybe the offshoot of Oplan Pusakal ng Nueva Ecija” an operation plan against illegal drugs and criminality” he added.
In Luisiana, Laguna, police killed a suspected drug dealer in a drug bust operation in Barangay San Antonio on Thursday evening, according to Laguna PPO provincial director Senior Superintendent Ronnie Montejo.
The suspect was identified as Edwin Chavez, a local resident.
Police said the suspect was No. 4 in the drug watch list of Luisiana police.
Montejo said the suspect, sensing that he was dealing with an undercover officer, pulled out a gun and shot the lawman but missed.
The police officer returned fire, hitting the suspect who was rushed to the hospital where he died.
Police recovered from the suspect .38 caliber revolver, shabu and drug paraphernalia.
In a separate buy-bust operation in Sitio Nayon, Barangay Barandal in Calamba City, a woman and her partner were arrested Thursday night.
Montejo identified the suspects as Maria Luisa J. Salipdan, 30, single, a resident of Brgy. Mayapa, and Joel D. Mamalayan, 30, single, jobless, and a resident of Brgy Burol, both in Calamba City.
Nine heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing suspected shabu, shabu paraphernalia and marked money were confiscated.
In Bulacan, two men were killed while one was arrested following an encounter with Bulacan police in Sitio Daang Bakal, Brgy San Juan in San Miguel town last Thursday..
Senior Supt. Romeo M. Caramat Jr., acting Bulacan police director, identified the slain suspects as Joseph Maniquiz Sarmiento, 47, single, and his brother Feliciano, 49, single.
The arrested suspect was identified as Alex Santiago Carpio, 45, single, also of Sitio Daang Bakal, Brgy San Juan.
Another suspect eluded arrest.
Citing a report of Supt. Joel Estaris, San Miguel police officer-in-charge, Caramat said a police team in coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) conducted an anti-illegal drug operation in Brgy San Juan.
The encounter ensued after one of the suspects, known as Epak, sold a sachet of shabu to a poseur buyer in exchange of P 500.
Before engaging lawmen into a shootout, the Sarmiento brothers were having pot session.
(SHEEN CRISOLOGO • DANNY ESTACIO • FREDDIE VELEZ)