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3 men killed in police buy-bust

By ANALOU DE VERA

A day after President Duterte signed an order transferring anti-drug operations to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), three men were killed by policemen during a buy-bust operation Wednesday in Tondo, Manila.

Investigators identified the drug suspects as Rolando “Rolly” Campo, 60; Sherwin Bitas, 34, and a certain “Kalbo,” who is in his 20s.

Police said the suspects shot it out with lawmen from the Moriones-Tondo police station after sensing the sting operation around 12:50 p.m. along an alley in Sta. Barbara and Kagitingan Sts.

The suspects were declared dead on arrival at the Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center.

Recovered from Campo were a loaded .38 caliber revolver, four sachets of suspected shabu, and the marked money.

Two more .38 caliber revolvers and six sachets of suspected shabu were retrieved from Bitas and Kalbo, according to the police.

Police said the target of the operation was Campo who allegedly was engaged in illegal drug activities.

The police report, however, was disputed yesterday by Elizabeth, the 60-year-old wife of Campo.

“Parang hayop ’yung asawa ko. Binugbog na nila, binaril pa,” said Elizabeth after learning the news from her daughter and granddaughter.

A closed circuit television (CCTV) footage obtained by GMA-7 showed one man, allegedly a policeman in civilian clothes, adjusting the CCTV that was monitoring the alley where the alleged shootout happened.

Elizabeth said a man introduced himself as a policeman to her 24-year-old daughter and asked the whereabouts of her father. At that time, Rolando was doing the laundry, Elizabeth claimed.

“Pinaupo ang asawa ko sa may hagdanan habang nakaakbay sa kanya,” she said.

During the interview, Elizabeth called her 10-year-old granddaughter to describe what happened. “Sinakal po sya, tapos tinutok sa kanya ’yung baril,” the young child said.

The witness said that her grandfather was crying while bidding goodbye. “Nagba-bye po sya, umiiyak. Humingi po sya ng tulong. Pinatawag po nya sa akin si mama. Tumakbo ako at nagtago. Nakita ko po binaril po nila ang lolo ko,” she said.

The witness overheard one policeman, saying “wala silang pakialam, mamatay man ang lolo ko.”

Elizabeth claimed that her husband was a former drug user who stopped four to five years ago.

“Matagal na po syang hindi gu-magamit. Meron ng apat o limang taon. Dahil sa may sakit sya sa baga at meron na ngang tokhang,” she said.

Elizabeth denied that his husband owned a gun. “Paano magkakaroon ng baril ang asawa ko. Ma’am tingnan mo ang bahay namin. Sobrang liit lang. Wala syang trabaho simula ng nagkasakit sya. Pinili kong ako nalang ang magtrabaho,” she said.

“Masama ang loob ko. Sabi nila kakausapin ayun pala ay papatayin,” she said.

She said that Rolando is good man and had not been involved in any untoward incident in their barangay.

Senior Insp. Rommel Anicete, the Manila Police District homicide chief, said they got hold of the order only yesterday.

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