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Drug pusher, pals gunned down

A suspected drug pusher who had surrendered to the police and vowed to stop engaging in illegal drug activities was gunned down with his two companions by the police in a buy-bust operation in Pandacan, Manila Friday.

Police identified the suspects as Rodolfo “Ompong” Valdez, Ryan da Silva, alias “Boy Ti,” and Cesar Blanco. They all died on the spot.

Investigation showed that police were conducting a buy bust operation against the suspect at his house at the corner of Cahilom and Apitong Sts. when he realized that he was dealing with lawmen acting as poseur-buyers.

Valdez ran to his house but police chased him. The suspect pulled out a gun and fired at the pursuing policemen.

Police returned fire and killed the suspect and his two companions who also traded shots with lawmen.

Chief Insp. Manny Israel, chief of the Manila Police District anti-illegal drugs division, said Valdez surrendered to the MPD Pandacan station on July 4 during “Oplan: Tokhang” but he reportedly went back to trading illegal drugs in their place afterwards.

Israel said Valdez was the target of the joint buy-bust operation by Manila Police District District Anti-Illegal Drugs Division, District Special Operation Unit, and District Intel Operation Unit.

Police found empty sachets with traces of shabu and drug paraphernalia scattered inside the house of Valdez.

Israel said 20 to 25 grams of shabu with an estimated value of P125,000, a caliber .38 revolver and a caliber .45 pistol, and a knife were also recovered in the house.

According to Israel, Valdez is a notorious drug peddler in Pandacan and when they received information from assets that he went back to selling drugs, an operation to arrest him was immediately launched.

Valdez and Da Silva and Blanco, who were his runners, have joined the list of more or less 30 drug personalities who have been killed in Manila, whether in encounters with police or due to summary executions, since the start of the month. (Betheena Kae Unite)