EIGHT more suspected narcotics dealers were killed in a gun fight with drug enforcers who swooped down on their hideout in Matalam, Cotabato before dawn Saturday.
In a report reaching the Philippine National Police’s Camp Crame headquarters, the police said regional police units and agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency raided the suspects’ hideout in Barangay Poblacion around 2:30 a.m. on the strength of duly-issued search warrant.
But the suspects—identified as Tainko Lamping, Bolao Palti, Haron Lamping Mamakan, Abudzaid Runas, Tahir Kasan Salipudin; Mustapha Tausi, Mangapan Mama Musa and Jobaina Lumantag—fired on the policemen resulting in the gun fight.
All of the suspects, who are also believed to be involved in car thefts and robberies in the area, were killed except for a certain Aratok Iba Balabagan, who is now undergoing tactical interrogation at the Matalam police station.
Recovered from the scene of the fighting were one cal. 45 pistol, a 9mm pistol, one cal. 38 pistol, four hand grenades, five sachets of shabu and assorted drug paraphernalia.
The killing of the eight suspects brings to 10 the number of suspected drug dealers slain in just seven days after two other drug suspects were shot dead in an anti-drug operation in Dinalupihan, Bataan.
Meanwhile, more confessed drug users and petty pushers continued to surrender to the police for fear of being slain in the ongoing anti-narcotics drive.
In Metro Manila, around 400 drug personalities in the northern cities of Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela voluntarily surrendered to the police while a total of 2,856 individuals have already surrendered in the southern part of the metropolis.
In Caloocan, Supt. Ferdinand del Rosario said drug personalities surrendered in the belief that the government would give them an opportunity to have a better future after Caloocan Mayor Oscar Malapitan promised to extend assistance to those who would voluntarily surrender.
Police said that the city government is continuously extending the P50,000 to P100,000 reward money to anyone who can pinpoint to the authorities those personalities involved in drug pushing or proliferating of illegal drugs in the city.
In Valenzuela, not less than 200 drug personalities have surrendered to the Valenzuela City Police the other day, according to city police chief Senior Supt. Audie Villacin.
In Malabon and Navotas, there are about 100 drug personalities who voluntarily surrendered, according to Malabon police chief Senior Supt. John Chua and Navotas police head Supt. Dante Novicio.
In southern Metro Manila, a total of 2,856 individuals surrendered and are now undergoing evaluation, said Southern Police District spokesperson Jenny Pecson.
The suspected pushers and dependents gave themselves up to the police following the reported series of killings involving drug dealers during buy-bust operations conducted by law enforcement agencies.
Just recently, seven were killed in separate anti-illegal drug operations in cities of Pasay, Parañaque and Muntinlupa.
Newly-designated National Capital Region Police Office director Oscar Albayalde said five other drug pushers were also killed last Sunday in a gun battle with law enforcers in Quiapo, Manila.
He said his men were about to serve arrest warrants against the suspects “when shots rang out from one of the houses in the area.”
Albayalde said after the incident, his men recovered four firearms and 200 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as shabu, from the suspects.
In his speech during the turnover ceremony at the NCRPO, Albayalde had promised to intensify the campaign against criminality and illegal drugs.
He said his leadership will focus on three major thrusts—Practical Programs for crime prevention and suspension, an intensified campaign against criminality and illegal drugs, and sustained cleansing of ranks.
Albayalde said he will be implementing “Oplan Double Barrel” to hit both high-value target personalities and street-level drug operators.
He also ordered all district directors—Manila Police District, Southern Police District, Eastern Police District, Northern Police District and Central Police District—to intensify police street patrol operations to prevent robbery, snatching, theft and numerous modus operandi.
The government’s continuing crackdown on suspected drug traffickers also resulted in the arrest of more than 500 individuals, some of them Taiwanese and Chinese nationals, in Metro Manila from January to May this year.
Two months ago, lawmen arrested three Taiwanese nationals and seized 55 kilos of shabu worth P275 million following a buy-bust operation in Ayala-Alabang Village in Muntinlupa City. Arrested were Pong Jung, 19; Chen Hu Min, 27 and Eugene Chong, 24. With Jun David, Joel Zurbano
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