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4 ‘salvage’ victims found

Four bodies of drug suspects, believed to be “salvage” victims, have surfaced in Manila as the government’s crackdown against illegal drugs raged across the nation.

At least 13 others were killed in police operations in Metro Manila and elsewhere while scores were arrested.

An unidentified man, whose face was wrapped by packaging tape, was discovered Friday evening under the McArthur Bridge in Manila. A cardboard with the words, “Pusher ako,” was found atop the body which bore two stab wounds.

Police said the victim was between 40 and 45 years old, slim built, and bore tattoos on his shoulder and back. He was clad in blue and white sleeveless shirt, denim pants, and had no shoes on.

Early yesterday, three more bodies were recovered in separate locations.

Ricardo Acon, 47, of Pedro Gil St. in Paco, was found dead at 1:30 a.m. He suffered a bullet wound in the body near his house.

Found in his body were six sachets of suspected shabu and a .38 caliber revolver loaded with five ammunitions and a fired cartridge case.

The circumstances behind his death were still being investigated by the police.

At 5 a.m., the body of an unidentified man was discovered inside a balikbayan box. His hands were tied while his head was covered with packaging tape. He wore a red T-shirt and checkered shorts. Written in the box was: “Pusher, holdaper ako, huwag tularan.”

Less than three hours later at 7:30 a.m., a big crowd milled around another box containing a body in front of the Intramuros Golf Club on Bonifacio Drive, Port Area.

The victim was about 45 to 50 years old and was clad with white T-shirt and black cycling shorts. He also had tattoos covering different parts of his body.

The body, which was covered by packaging tape, was discovered by security guard Jesse Lucas who was on routine patrol. He bore stab wounds. A similar note, “Pusher, holdaper ako, huwag tularan,” was also written on the tape.

It could not be ascertained if all four “salvage” victims are connected.

Of the 14 drug-related killings, three were in Manila and Quezon City.

Father and son were gunned down during a buy bust operation in Tondo, Manila.

PO3 Marlon San Pedro identified the drug suspects as Eduardo Remodero, 66, and Arcy Remodero, 43, both residents of Pilar St.

Police said both suspects drew their guns after sensing they were dealing with undercover cops. Both suspects did not reach the hospital alive.

In another shooting incident at 5 p.m. Friday, Randy de Guzman, 30, of Barangay Tatalon, Quezon City was shot dead after allegedly grabbing one of the policemen’s hand gun while he was being transported to the police station.

De Guzman was arrested after receiving suspected marijuana leaves of undetermined quantity from his cohort who managed to escape.

Elsewhere, eight drug suspects were killed in a raid in Matalam, Cotabato yesterday.

Supt. Romeo Galgo, spokesman of the Central Mindanao regional police, said police assaulted the area known as lair of illegal drug suspects also involved in carnapping and robbery.

Armed with a search warrant, the heavily armed police swooped down on Sitio Quiapo in Barangay Poblacion at 2:30 a.m.

After the brief gunfight, eight suspects lay dead. They were identified as Tainko Mamakan, Bolao Palti, Haron Mamakan, Abudzaid Runas, Tahir Salipudin, Mustapa Tausi, Mangapan Mama Musa, and Jobaina Lumantag, the lone woman who died at the Cotabato provincial hospital.

During the operation, police arrested a certain Aratok Balabagan.

In Ilocos Sur, a 37-year-old drug suspect was shot by an unidentified armed man in front of his car repair shop.

Police identified the fatality as Rey Armand Castro who was listed as No. 1 drug personality in Sto. Domingo.

The shooting took place at 9:30 a.m. Recovered from the scene were several empty shells for a caliber .45 pistol.

(With reports from Anthony Giron, Vanne Terrazola, Aaron Recuenco, Joseph Jubelag, and Freddie Velez)
(BETHEENA KAE UNITE & ANALOU DE VERA)

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