AN alleged top drug personality in Mandaue City was killed in an ambush shortly after posting bail for drugs and illegal possession of firearms past noon yesterday.
Pablito Loberanes, 30, died on the spot after four unidentified men, who were riding in tandem on two motorcycles, waylaid and fired at the Suzuki mini-van that he and his five relatives were riding on at the corner of P. Rosal and M.C Briones Sts.
Daisy Pacho, one of Loberanes’ companions, also died before reaching the hospital, said Senior Insp. Janelito Marquez, chief of Mandaue Police Station 1.
His two other companions, identified by the police as Jerson Hermosa, the mini-van driver, and the woman named “Ganggang,” were wounded. The remaining passengers, Eva Valiente and Darlene Casona, were unscathed.
“The woman (Ganggang) who was confined at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center was provided with security so she can help in identifying the gunmen,” Marquez said in Cebuano.
Loberanes and his companions were on their way to Barangay Paknaan from the Palace of Justice when the attack happened. The crime scene is about a kilometer away from the court.
The suspects were wearing helmets and jackets.
Loberanes was reportedly the first drug surrenderer in the Operation Tokhang in Mandaue in June 2016, after the police intensified their anti-drug campaign.
He was accompanied by his live-in partner and eight-month-old child when he submitted himself for profiling to former Mandaue City Police Office director Jonathan Cabal.
However, Loberanes was again arrested last Jan. 1.
“According to some reports, he continued with his illegal drug activities in Mandaue and other areas in the province,” said Marquez.
On Jan. 1, Loberanes was arrested when he hit two jeepneys and a taxi on the highway in Barangay Basak. He tried to escape by abandoning his car, followed by his two companions.
Loberanes had told traffic investigators that he left his driver’s license inside his car. But when the team checked, they found 14 sachets of shabu and a .38 Smith and Wesson revolver without a serial number inside the vehicle.
He was charged for illegal possession of drugs and gun and for disregarding traffic rules.