A HIGH-VALUE target (HVT) drug personality was killed in a shootout in a joint police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) operation in the province of Zamboanga del Norte, the police said.
Police Brigadier General Jesus Cambay, Jr., Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula director, identified the slain HVT drug personality as Arbeb Cenas Batingal, who is also a leader of the “Batang Mindanao 29.”
Cambay said the shootout ensued when Batingal, upon sensing he was transacting with a PDEA agent, pulled out a pistol and open fire during a buy-bust operation around 10 a.m. Thursday in San Vicente village, Katipunan, Zamboanga Del Norte.
Cambay said the PDEA agent was unscathed although Batingal hit his target as lawmen were wearing bulletproof vests at that time.
He said that Batingal was hit in the abdomen when the PDEA returned fire.
Cambay said Batingal was rushed to the hospital but was declared dead on arrival by the attending physician.
He said anti-drug operatives recovered from the suspect a 9-mm pistol with nine ammunition, one hand grenade, P200 marked money, and some P25,000 worth of suspected shabu. (SunStar Zamboanga)