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Suspected drug pusher found dead 8 hours after abduction

By GLAZYL MASCULINO

Police line

BACOLOD CITY – A suspected drug pusher was found dead in a vacant lot at Barangay Mansilingan here early Thursday, eight hours after he was allegedly abducted by four unidentified armed men on board a pick-up truck at Barangay 3 here last Wednesday night.

Police identified the slain victim as Richard Tutop, 33, of Barangay 3 here.

Maj. Carmelo Nermal, head of Police Station 7, said the abduction happened while Tutop was sitting on his motorcycle outside his residence.

The armed men whose faces were covered with face masks, arrived and forced him to ride the vehicle.

The following day, his body was found with multiple gunshot wounds in the head. His both hands were hogtied with tape and belt and his mouth was covered with tape.

A security guard of a nearby residential village allegedly saw a sedan and heard about five gunshots in the area.

Recovered from the scene were some fired cartridges of .45 caliber.

Nermal said they are looking into drug-related angle in the killing, adding that the victim was arrested for illegal drugs in 2017 and was released from jail in October 2019 after he availed of the plea bargaining.

He said the victim might be involved in a failed illegal drug transaction. Police have no lead yet on the identities of the perpetrators.

Meanwhile, Maj. Sherlock Gabana, head of Police Station 2, said Tutop was probably supposed to meet someone for a transaction that day.

He said the victim was listed under their drugs watchlist after learning he allegedly returned to the illegal drug trade.

He said they have been monitoring him since he was released from jail last year.

For his part, Col. Henry Biñas, Bacolod police director, said that Tutop’s slay might be the second case here following the murder of 66-year-old Ontao Sacar, a native of Marawi City, on December 3, 2019.

Although the manner of the killing seems similar to the recent incident, Biñas said they cannot yet conclude anything since they have no evidence to prove such theory.

“We cannot really tell if both incidents have the same group of perpetrators,” he added.

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