AN ALLEGED member of an illegal drug syndicate that possibly masterminded the murder of an intelligence operative was killed in a shootout in Barangay Agus, Lapu-Lapu City yesterday dawn.
The fatality was identified as Joel Oyao Amistad, a suspected member of the Oyao drug group.
Amistad’s son Khien, 18, was arrested after the shootout, which happened in their house.
The older Amistad was allegedly involved in the shooting to death of PO3 Antonio Tumulak Inihao Jr. (not Inahao as earlier reported) of Lapu-Lapu City Police Station 4 and wounding of PO3 Jasper Nuñez of Police Station 3.
Insp. Alcon Escosura, the Police Station 4 chief, said they had no choice but to shoot at Amistad who refused to surrender.
“Nisukol siya. Siya maoy niuna og pagpabuto (He resisted. He opened fire at us first),” he said in a phone interview.
Escosura said he saw wounds in left arm, body and in the back of Amistad.
The operation was done with the operatives of Police Station 3, Lapu-Lapu City Intelligence Branch and Regional Intelligence Division led by its chief, Supt. Rex Derilo.
They implemented the arrest warrant against Amistad.
Last Saturday morning, Inihao and Nuñez were conducting surveillance on a drug personality near a cockfight area in Barangay Calawisan, Lapu-Lapu City when a gunman shot them several times.
Inihao was shot at least five times in the back, while Nuñez suffered gunshot wounds in the right leg and left foot.
Police believed the murder was planned and it was carried out by three to four men. Escosura said they rushed Amistad to a public hospital where the suspect died. The suspect is living with Khien, after he separated from his wife.
A .357 revolver and 43 packs of white crystals believed to be shabu were seized from the suspects.
Two empty shells and three bullets were still in the revolver’s cartridge.
Escosura said Police Station 3 is still investigating Inihao’s murder, which could be related to his work as a member of Police Station 4’s intelligence unit.
“They are very aggressive against persons who have warrant of arrests for drug cases,” he said in Cebuano.
The police official said his intelligence unit chief, SPO3 Nonilon Estonilo, told him that Inihao had been receiving death threats.
The threats were reportedly delivered to Inihao by strangers less than two months ago.
Inihao then resorted to wearing bulletproof vest every day, but he forgot it when he and Nuñez looked for a drug personality last Saturday morning.
In his ten months in the Police Station 4, Escosura said Inihao had no single derogatory record.
“Wala na siya magpabadlong sa akong (He was not misbehaving under my) leadership,” he said.