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Police killed at least 12 suspected drug dealers in the city of Manila and in Cavite and Quezon provinces within 48 hours after President Duterte assumed office.
The PNP National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) reported that five shabu peddlers in Quiapo district, Manila, became the latest casualties in the government’s all-out anti-drugs drive when they engaged cops in a brief gun battle yesterday morning.
Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde, NCRPO head, said the encounter happened in a Moslem community while Manila Police District (MPD) anti-narcotics agents were looking for a man who engaged lawmen in a Friday shootout.
“The man that our personnel were looking for is allegedly wounded and was hiding inside the Grand Mosque,” said Albayalde.
During the process, Albayalde said his men were tipped about a small group of men who were engaged in transporting a shipment of illegal drugs using a creek along Arlegui Street.
“The creek is reportedly being used as a mode of transport for illegal drugs going to and from the Islamic Compound and a vcant lot along Duque de Alba Street in Quiapo,” said Albayalde.
While conducting surveillance based on a tip-off at around 7 a.m. yesterday morning, the official said his men were fired upon after reaching a shanty near Duque de Alba Street.
A brief gun battle than ensued, according to the NCRPO chief, and a few minutes later, the five suspects were killed.
The suspects are yet to be identified.
Seized in the area were four handguns, more or less 200 grams of suspected shabu, a black motorcycle with license plate ND62486 and a red motorcycle with a 9228 UP marking, three bicycles and a tricycle.
Over in Bacoor, Cavite, suspected drug pusher Jonathan Rosales Gaot, alias “Tonton”, 43, was killed in a shootout with a six-man Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Region 4-A team that conducted a buy-bust operation on Rosas Street, Dulong Habay, Barangay Habay II.
The encounter took place after Gao resisted the operation and fired at the team as he attempted to escape in a grassy and dark area at 12:15 a.m. yesterday.
Gaot suffered bullet wounds and was declared dead on arrival at Bacoor District Hospital.
Recovered at the crime scene were the suspect’s .22-caliber Magnum homemade revolver, two sachets containing suspected “shabu” and a P500 marked bill.
In Quezon province, six suspected big-time drug traffickers died within two days after President Duterte took over the presidency, according to Senior Superintendent Eugenio B. Paguirigan, Quezon police director.
Paguirigan said drug suspect Christian Glor Calvelo alias Turyog, 29, was killed in a shootout with Gumaca policemen serving a search warrant in his house in Barangay Progreso, Gumaca town. Recovered from him were shabu and a .38-caliber revolver.
Paguirigan said five other drug suspects – Cesar Padua Garcia, Marvin Mabuting Cuadra and Victorio Barola Abutal, all of Lucban town; Constancio Lorica Forbes and Orlan Orias Untalan, both residents of San Antonio town – were found dead by Quezon police in a span of two days.
Police said the five slain victims were known big-time drug pushers in their towns and w
ere listed as among the Top 10 drug personalities in Lucban and San Antonio towns.
More or less 100 suspected drug personalities were killed since January to June this year.
The national police leadership admitted that police commanders were inspired by Duterte’s tough stand against the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country. (Aaron Recuenco, Anthony Giron, Danny Estacio)