AN ALLEGED hitman and drug dealer was killed along with a 15-year-old boy in a police operation Tuesday afternoon, January 23, in Barangay Cogon, Balingasag, Misamis Oriental.
The slain suspect Baldomiro Pajo, whom the police also tagged as a "motorcycle-riding hitman", reportedly engaged in a firefight with police operatives resulting to his untimely demise.
The police blamed Pajo as the one who hit the still unidentified teener with a bullet when the shootout ensued.
As a hitman, they said Pajo had been victimizing drug pushers who cannot settle their obligations with the upper level drug dealers.
However, the spot report revealed that policemen swooped down on Pajo’s whereabouts not for drugs but on theft charges.
Operatives from Balingasag town police, intelligence branch and mobile force company of Misamis Oriental Provincial Police Office (MisOrPPO) were said to implement an arrest warrant against Pajo for theft charges when the latter allegedly fought back.
Investigation disclosed that the suspect, armed with a handgun, refused to submit himself to the authorities and indiscriminately fired at the police while trying to escape.
The teener being hit in the crossfire later died in a hospital, according to police report.
"Nagpataka og pabuto ang suspek habang tumatakbo kaya tinamaan yung bata at eventually namatay," Misamis Oriental police spokesperson Senior Inspector Corrine Mae Estigoy said.
Estigoy said Pajo was on top of the list of high-valued target in the illegal drug trade.
She said the suspect's illegal drug transactions covered Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro City.
"Yung operation is pag-serve ng warrant for theft charges. But aside from HVT siya sa illegal drugs, holdaper at motorcycle riding suspect din siya," Estigoy said.
"May link diagram na pinakita sa atin na may kasama itong nahuli na sa Barangay Macasandig," Estigoy added.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 24, 2018.