‘Drug lord’ killed in strafing

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014


AN alleged drug lord was shot and killed in a strafing incident in Barangay Pitalo, San Fernando, Cebu at 1 a.m. yesterday.

Geralde Basalo, 45, died from multiple gunshot wounds. At least six men, who allegedly used M16 rifles and other high-powered firearms, were believed to have carried out the crime.

According to PO1 Lauro Laurel, San Fernando police investigator, Basalo was included in the watchlist of suspected drug lords in the municipality. He was also jailed for a drug-related case.

Laurel said an illegal drug issue is being considered as one of the motives in the attack.

Thirty-four empty shells from an M16 rifle, 10 empty shells from 9mm pistol and two empty shells from a caliber 45 pistol were recovered by the police outside Basalo’s house.

“Na tusak-tusak ilang balay kay girakrakan man gud sila (The house was filled with bullet holes because of the strafing),” said Laurel in a phone interview.

According to some residents in the area, they heard the gunshots but decided not to go out of the house for fear.

The residents said all the six gunmen wore jackets. A getaway vehicle was also parked nearby.

“Gituyokan man gyud nila ang balay aning biktima kay ang kabhang nga among nakita didto man gyud tuyok gawas sa balay (It appeared that the gunmen surrounded the house because we found the empty shells around the house),” said Laurel.

Basalo was reportedly awakened from his sleep after he heard someone calling him outside.

The shooting happened immediately after he opened the door, the police said.

His wife, Charito and their 14-year-old daughter, who were sleeping on the second floor, survived unscathed. They hid inside a room during the strafing.

Charito and Basalo’s neighbors rushed him to a hospital. He, however, died on the way there.

Murder try

Meanwhile, a barangay councilman in Carmen, Cebu survived an alleged murder attempt early Tuesday morning.

Police identified the victim as Councilor Eugene L. Lucero, 34, of Barangay Corte.

According to an investigation conducted by the town police, Lucero was driving his motorcycle and was passing a provincial road in Sitio Tuntonon, Barangay Cantumog, Carmen when he noticed a Blue Honda XRM motorcycle tailing him.

The driver of the Honda motorcycle, who wore a red helmet, then pulled out a caliber .45 pistol and fired twice at the barangay official but missed.

Lucero quickly drove his motorcycle and managed to hide in a nearby house.

Two empty shells from a caliber .45 pistol were recovered and submitted to the PNP Crime Laboratory 7 for ballistic examination. /Arvin Matthew N. Paculaba, CNU Comm Intern)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 15, 2014.

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