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A former cop and another drug suspect were killed while a total of 100 residents were rounded up when police raided yesterday a drug den in an informal settlers’ community near a dumpsite in Quezon City.
The slain suspects, initially identified as alias “Joseph” and a certain PO1 Ericsander Gray, reportedly engaged operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-NCR (PDEA) and the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Batasan Police Station (PS-6) in a shootout on Bicol Street in Barangay Payatas B, where a drug den was found.
The community is located at the foot of the Payatas dumpsite.
Prior to the encounter, PDEA and PS-6 operatives launched at about 10:30 a.m. a buy-bust operation against Joseph, drug pusher in watchlist, and Gray, a known distributor of “shabu” in Barangays Payatas and Bagong Silangan.
Senior Supt. Guillermo Eleazar, QCPD director, said Gray was formerly assigned to the anti-illegal drug unit of PS-6 before he was dismissed in January 2015 allegedly for his involvement in illegal drug trade.
Eleazar said authorities were about to conclude their P2,000-worth drug deal with Joseph when the suspect sensed it was a fake transaction.
Joseph drew his caliber .38-revolver and started firing. Gray came to aid his cohort with his 9mm service firearm.
The two were wounded at the gunfight and later succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds at the East Avenue Medical Center, police said.
Authorities rounded up some 100 persons in makeshift tents and shanties in the area which appeared to be a drug den.
Police said seven to eight persons fit themselves in make-do shelters atop a muddy hill of garbage for their shabu sessions. Others were caught waiting for their turn.
Eleazar said most of the customers were garbage collectors who live in the area and in neighboring municipality of San Mateo, Rizal. (Vanne Elaine P. Terrazola)