Five alleged members of a crime group were killed in a shootout with cops hours after they hanged the man who informed the police of their illegal drug trade in Novaliches, Quezon City, at 7 a.m. yesterday.
Quezon City Police District director Senior Supt. Guillermo Eleazar said the five suspects, including the leader of the “Asero” drug and robbery group identified as Narciso Agabe Asero, and one Jun Catampatan, died on the spot after they shot it out with operatives of Novaliches Police Station in a shanty at Sitio Kawayan in Barangay San Agustin, Novaliches.
The QCPD director said Asero had been in the watchlist of Quezon City and Caloocan police while Catampatan was one of those who surrendered in one of their “Oplan Kapak” operations.
Three of the other slain suspects have yet to be identified, according to Eleazar.
Police learned that the Asero group has been operating a drug den in Sitio Kawayan for a year. The gang has also been the subject of complaints of residents in the area for their indiscriminate firing and involvement in petty crimes.
Eleazar said the QCPD launched an operation against the suspects after an informant finally divulged the gang’s illegal activities and their hideout.
As the lawmen arrived at the drug den, the suspects opened fire at them, triggering a gunfight that resulted in the death of five suspects and arrest of another whose identity was withheld.
During their inspection at the drug den, police operatives found the body of the police informant hanging in one of the rooms. The QCPD chief said the informant went missing after he reported the group to police.
The raiding team also recovered from the drug den eight firearms, a hand grenade, several sachets of suspected shabu, marijuana, and pieces of motorcycle parts.
Prior to the Novaliches shootout, a certain “Jomong” was also killed in a drug sting conducted by anti-narcotics operatives of Fairview Police Station on Regalado Avenue in Barangay Greater Lagro, around 10:10 p.m., Monday.
(VANNE ELAINE P. TERRAZOLA)