Drug bust ends in gunfire; 2 men killed-A A +A
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
TWO suspected drug pushers died while another suspect and a police officer were wounded when a buy-bust led to a shootout in Barangay Looc, Lapu-Lapu City yesterday afternoon.
Police investigators identified the fatalities as Romeo Daleon, 30, a resident of Looc, and Marlon Ampatuan Yongco, 29, of Banawa, Cebu City.
PO3 Joseph Villamor, 38, who acted as the buyer when the operation was conducted around 4:45 p.m., was shot in the stomach by one of the suspects.
The third suspect, identified as Romulo Marinay, 56, of Duljo, Cebu City, sustained gunshot wounds in his leg. He was brought to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City.
Senior Insp. Rogelio Pineda Jr., chief of the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office City Intelligence Branch, said Villamor’s condition was stable. He did not disclose the hospital where Villamor was admitted, for security reasons.
Carrying marked money, Villamor was some six or seven feet away from the black Sedan vehicle (WHK 358) where the suspects were waiting when he was shot from inside the vehicle, said Pineda.
The transaction was supposed to take place inside the vehicle.
An exchange of gunfire ensued after about eight operatives who were hiding came to Villamor’s aid.
Daleon and Yongco suffered gunshot wounds in different parts of their bodies.
“The suspects may have received a tip about the operation or recognized Villamor as a police officer. We’re still not sure about the circumstances,” Pineda told Sun.Star Cebu in phone interview.
Investigators have yet to find out who shot Villamor. A .45 pistol was found close to Yongco.
Aside from the firearm, police found 13 small sachets of suspected shabu inside the van. Another two medium sachets were seized from Marinay.
Pineda said a case for possession of illegal drugs will be filed against Marinay.
Police recovered 23 empty shells from a .45 pistol, five of them inside the vehicle, and 19 others from a 9mm pistol.
Pineda said that Daleon, also known as Otik, was the subject of the buy-bust. “He has been identified as a drug pusher in the area long before. Idlas lang gyud (He was elusive),” he said.
The buy-bust was conducted in coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency after a two-week surveillance that involved buying illegal drugs from Daleon.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 21, 2014.