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5 drug suspects die in Cavite shootouts

CAMP GEN. PANTALEON GARCIA, IMUS, Cavite – At least five drug suspects were killed in shootouts with police conducting simultaneous operations on Tuesday night in the cities of Bacoor and General Trias and Rosario municipality.

At his first command visit to Cavite Police Provincial Office (PPO) in this camp yesterday, Chief Superintendent Valfrie G. Tabian, Police Region Office 4-A acting director, confirmed that the all-out war against illegal drugs had just began in Cavite and the neighboring provinces of Laguna, Batangas and Rizal or the Calabarzon area.

“Lumaban sila eh at nagpaputok, kaya nagka-shootout,” Tabian told this reporter on the sideline of his visit.

Tabian is a Philippine Military Academy Class ’86 graduate and batch mate of Chief Superintendent Roland “Bato” de la Rosa, incoming chief of Philippine National Police (PNP) who earlier made a stern pronouncement against those involved in illegal drugs, crimes and corruption.

Observers deemed the anti-drug operations in the region as prelude to the June 30 proclamation of incoming President Rodrigo Roa Duterte who vowed to stamp out the drug menace and corruption in six months of his term.

In reports released on Wednesday, Senior Superintendent Eliseo D. L. C. Cruz, Cavite PPO acting director, said that three drug suspects died during the encounter with police in Country Meadow Subdivision in Barangay San Francisco, General Trias, and one each in Bacoor and Rosario.

The firefight in General Trias involved a group of alleged drug pushers and users and PPO Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Group and a local police team.

The group resisted the police during the raid on a house as they were looking for one Evan Sevilla.

The local police had a search warrant for Sevilla at the time of the operation, it was gathered.

The police have yet to release the full identities of the suspects killed in the firefight.

Recovered from the scene were the suspects’ three .38-caliber revolvers, several sachets of “shabu” or methamphetamine hydrochloride and drug paraphernalia.

At 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, a man identified only as “Orly” was killed when he traded shots with police after resisting arrest in a buy-bust operation on Tulip Street in Villa Esperanza Subdivision, Barangay Molino II, Bacoor.

Recovered from the suspect were a .45-caliber pistol with a magazine loaded with five bullets, two sachets of suspected “shabu” and the buy-bust money amounting to P700.

The suspect’s body was brought to Messina Funeral Homes for autopsy.

At 10:35 p.m., a tricycle driver died after he shot it out with a police team after resisting also a drug buy-bust operation in Barangay Muzon I in Rosario town.

Superintendent Rommel Javier Laconsay, Rosario police chief, identified the fatality as Jerry Castro Abundo, a resident of Poblete Street, Barangay Muzon II.

Recovered from Abundo were .38-caliber homemade revolver, eight sachets of suspected “shabu” and the P500 marked cash used in the buy-bust operation.

Another report released by the PPO said that a still unidentified woman was found “salvaged” (summarily executed) past 12 am, Wednesday, on Soriano Highway in Barangay Sahud Ulan in Tanza municipality.

The woman had a sign board on her head which reads “Pusher Ako.” The woman, who bore a gunshot wound in the head, was described as about 5’2” tall, has a tattoo on the left foot and clad in a blouse and shorts.

As of press time, no one could tell who killed the woman and dumped her body on the road. (ANTHONY GIRON)