‘Not ambush but legit operation’

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Thursday, August 14, 2014


THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Northern Mindanao (PDEA-10) has denied that its anti-narcotics agents ambushed a suspected drug dealer in Naawan, Misamis Oriental on August 10, 2014, a PDEA-10 official said Wednesday.

Contrary to a report that was circulating lately, the PDEA-10 agents only carried out an “entrapment delivery” operation that resulted to the capture of Roholla Saripada and had no intent to waylay the suspect, said PDEA-10 deputy regional director Rayford Yap.

Saripada is said to be the son of a former assemblyman in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm).

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“It was not an ambush, but it was a legitimate operation,” Yap told Sun*Star Cagayan de Oro Wednesday.

He said that based on their intelligence, Saripada was on his way to deliver the alleged illegal substance last Sunday prompting the PDEA-10 to intercept him before he can reach his destination.

Yap said the PDEA-10 operatives merely tried to stop Saripada’s vehicle by flagging down the modified Honda Civic he was driving, but the suspect did not heed as he tried to run over an agent who was standing by the national highway in Naawan.

In reaction, the agent fired a warning shot and when Saripada did not put on the brake, his car’s tires were targeted.

At the height of the shooting, the car’s front and back windshields were shattered. A bullet hit the suspect’s right shoulder in the process.

Yap also clarified that Saripada did not fire at the PDEA-10 agents as he sped away from the authorities, but the operatives saw a firearm on the suspect’s possession.

He said since Saripada eluded the impending arrest, the agents just responded accordingly so he could not get away.

“If it was indeed an ambush, the suspect (Saripada) would not have been brought to the hospital for treatment” after the car hit a culvert by the road side, he added.

Yap said it was just an accident that Saripada was hit when the agents attempted stop the car.

Taken from Saripada were four plastic sachets filled with the suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu with an estimated street value of P160,000.

Also seized from the suspect was a 9mm handgun, a magazine clip and 10 live ammunitions.

In a TV interview, Saripada denied any involvement on selling illegal drugs.

Aside from Saripada, PDEA-10 also arrested three suspects, two of whom were identified as sons of former congressmen in separate buy-bust operations last Saturday, August 9, 2014.

Meanwhile, some PDEA-10 agents have been under threat due to the series of arrests they had made involving high-profile personalities, said Yap.

But Yap said their agents have taken the precautionary measures to ensure their safety so they can still do the tasks assigned them.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 14, 2014.

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