A DRUG suspect was shot dead in a drug bust operation Monday afternoon, October 10, in Barangay Sta. Cruz, Tagoloan town, Misamis Oriental.

The suspect, identified as Rolando "Molong" Epis of Sugbongcogon town, was killed after supposedly resisting arrest.

Senior Inspector Dante Hallasgo, Tagoloan police spokesperson, said Epis had pulled his gun and shot at the police team.

"Pagkahuman sa transaction nga napalitan na ang suspek ug sa pag-aresto nato misukol kini dihang mibunot og armas ug nagpabuto apan gladly walay naigo sa atong team busa napugos atong mga kauban sa pag-retaliate (After the transaction, we were about to arrest him but he fired at our team and gladly no one got hit so we had to retaliate)," Hallasgo said.

The suspect sustained a gunshot wound in his chest which caused his immediate death.

The Scene of the Crime Operatives recovered a single sachet containing suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as "shabu," P500 drug bust money and a pistol of unknown caliber allegedly used by the suspect.

"After sa drug bust didto na nato nahibal-an nga naa siyay armas and that time siya ra pud to isa. Sa atong monitoring sa mga nag-surrender sa tokhang nahibal-an nato nga positive siya nga mibalik sa illegal drug activities (We found out that after the drug bust, he was alone and he had a gun. We also found out from the drug surrenderees that he went back to his illegal drug activities)," Hallasgo said.

Hallasgo said the suspect was listed as number nine in the drug watch list of the municipal police station and was reportedly number two in the target list at the provincial level.

Hallasgo urged the Local Government Unit (LGU) to initiate a rehabilitation program for habitual drug users who had given themselves in for "tokhang" (knock and plead) to prevent them from going back to drug using and pushing.

The livelihood program and employment opportunities for drug suspects who yielded to "tokhang" will be implemented by officials of Tagoloan town.