TWO died on the spot and another one died on the way to a hospital after a shootout between police and alleged drug suspects took place at the back of a big establishment on Zuellig St., North Reclamation Area in Barangay Subangdaku, Mandaue City past 3 p.m. Tuesday, July 23, 2019.
Newly installed Mandaue City Police Director P/Col. Jonathan Abella said the three suspects, on board a gray van, tried to evade arrest after they sensed that they were transacting with the police.
As of press time, 21-year-old Prince Gem Mapalo was the only one identified by the police.
His family identified him.
He was the driver of the van with plate number 090101.
Police were able to recover an estimated 11 kilos of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu with Dangerous Drugs Board value of P74.8 million. They were placed in big tea bags.
Abella said the suspects were transacting with agents of the City Intelligence Branch.
Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Police Brigadier General Debold Sinas responded to the area immediately.
The Scene of the Crime Operatives (Soco) recovered high-caliber firearms including a KG9 submachine pistol with a banana type magazine inside the van, a .357 Frontier revolver and a .45 caliber pistol.
A man who identified himself as the father of one of the three suspects positively identified his fourth son, Prince Gem, as the one driving the vehicle.
“Nananghid na nako nga molakaw kay magdeliver daw siyag itlog. Nakadungog ko nga naay gipamusil diri. Mao to nianhi ko diri. Sus, ako man ning anak diay,” he said in Cebuano.
(He asked permission to leave, saying he would deliver eggs. I heard there was a shooting incident, so I came here. Oh my, it turns out it’s my son.)
A girl, who asked not to be named but identified herself as the eldest sister of Mapalo, said her brother just stole his other brother’s license.
“I did not know of his activities, except that he worked as an egg delivery boy. He did not tell me any of his whereabouts. He actually lives in Pinamungajan. He only drops by Barangay Labangon to visit us after his work,” she said.
“The license he used is owned by our other brother, Prudel Gem, 19 years old,” she added.
According to Abella, the drug bust was a result of more than a month of intelligence monitoring on Mapalo.
“According to our (Mandaue) City Intelligence Branch, it took them more than a month of intelligence monitoring because Cebu City is linked to the series of drug operations in Mandaue City. Based on their follow-up operations, they were able to transact with Mapalo,” he said.
A police poseur ordered one kilo of shabu from the suspects and agreed to meet with them at the North Reclamation Area by 3:30 p.m.
When one of the suspects was about to turn over the shabu, the other suspect sitting in the front seat of the van fired shots. An exchange of gunfire ensued.
Mapalo and one other suspect died on the spot, while one was rushed to the hospital for medical attention. The latter, however, was declared dead on arrival.
Abella said he could not yet identify Mapalo’s affiliation in the illegal drug trade in Cebu.