7 killed, 35 nabbed in Davao raid

DAVAO (Updated) -- Seven alleged drug pushers were killed while 35 others, including a South Korean, were arrested in separate raids in Davao City on Friday.

Chief Superintendent Benjamin Magalong, head of the national police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), said the joint forces of the police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) agents were met by gunfire when they raided 26 hideouts of suspected drug traffickers in in Barangay Ilang in Tibungco district in Davao City.

The authorities were backed by a unit of the Philippine Navy's special warfare group and the local maritime police.

CIDG Regional Director Joel Pernito identified the fatalities as Dark Abdul Nawang, Runel Morguie, Bobby Solo, Faisal Abahe, Musa Sailama, Jamrel Sulame, and Wahid Saquili, all residents of Ilang.

Authorities recovered assorted firearms, components for home-made bombs, and an undetermined amount of crystal methamphetamine hydrochloride or locally known as 'shabu', Magalong said.

Davao City raids
DAVAO. Members of the raiding team squeeze into the tiny quarters of the suspected shabu tiangge (drug den) in Barangay Ilang, as they check the area where one of seven suspects was killed. (King Rodriguez)

The raids followed a police surveillance operation prompted by reports that drugs and illegal firearms were proliferating in the area, he said.

Among the 35 arrested suspects was Korean national Kwak Ki Chul. The others were identified as Reagan Penomingan Arpa; Hassanal Cal Sahisan; Wahida Villanueva Sakieli; Khasmer Arpa Massal; Lee Salicia Sarani; Marivic Jimlani Solo; Felix Jimlani Maugen; and Pantayan Sabrubrani Arage.

The authorities also arrested Pakman Arbani Tandieh; Sitty Fatima Yacob Igasan; Mary Jean Apari Bawa; Jamil Sailama Sarani; Fahad Sahibel Wahab; Alex Sailama Sarani; Eric Arakani Manisan; Andrey Bayanon Aware; Moctar Akmad Adjeron; and Nasser Wahab.

Davao City Police Office (DCPO) Director Vicente D. Danao Jr. said most of the arrested and killed suspects were earlier subjected to "Tokhang" (Toktok, Hangyo), a campaign against drugs by former police director Ronald dela Rosa.

Pernito added that the surveillance of the unit took several months for case build-up and application for search warrants. He said some of the suspects were already in their lists, while some are new faces.

"Yung ibang nahuli, kahit hindi sila kasama sa 26 search warrants, pero nakunan namin sila ng suspected shabu during the search. (The others who were arrested were not covered by the 26 search warrants, but suspected drugs were recovered from their possession.) Some of them will be investigated especially yung mga naga-claim na minor sila (those who claimed to be minor)," Pernito said.

Operatives assembled at the Camp Captain Domingo E. Leonor and conducted the raid at 4 a.m. All the suspects were rounded up following the 26 search warrants were issued by Judge Pelagio Paguican and Judge Ridgeway Tanjili, of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 12 and 15.

Based on the initial report, the CIDG arrested 12 individuals and encountered two men; DCPO arrested 15 individuals and encountered four men; while the PDEA arrested eight individuals and encountered one man.

A woman went hysterical when she found her son, who was lying on the floor with a hand grenade, dead. She confronted the policemen saying her son was intentionally killed. But the authorities downplayed the accusation of the woman.

"Those who were found dead resisted arrest and tried to shoot some responding officers kaya nagkaroon ng encounter. In fact, two of the seven men, kung nakita mo, attempted to pull out the pin of their grenade," the police said during the inventory in the area.

The Korean national Chul denied he is a pusher but claims he only went there to buy a sachet of shabu.

Among the recoveries were several small and medium sachets of suspected shabu, guns, ammunition, two grenades, assorted lighters, tooters, thousand of cash, and assorted shabu paraphernalia.

The suspects were brought to DCPO Gym to undergo normal procedure of investigation.

PDEA Regional Director Emerson Rosales said the suspects would be detained at the CIDG and DCPO jail facility.

He added that suspects will be charged for violation of Republic Act 9165 or The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 on Monday.

Pernito also said they are now monitoring the activities of other individuals involved in illegal drugs. He added that there are more suspected pushers and users operating and hiding in Davao Region.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte earlier expressed his frustration in rice smuggling, as it is also the reason of the proliferation of drugs here in Davao City. He also warned the violators to stay away from the city.

In metropolitan Manila last month, authorities seized about $32.2 million worth of illegal drugs in operations in which four Filipinos and four Canadians with suspected links to a Mexican cartel were arrested separately without violence.

Authorities last year seized a record 4.6 billion pesos ($101.5 million) worth of crystal meth, seven times more than the combined amount over the previous four years, according to the PDEA.

Another 5.3 billion pesos ($116.9 million) worth of other drugs and drug-making materials also were seized in 2013. More than 8,600 people, including 73 foreigners, were arrested on suspicion of drug possession and trafficking. (Ivy C. Tejano of Sun.Star Davao/AP/Sunnex)

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