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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Suspect killed in Escalante drug bust

A SUSPECTED drug courier was killed for resisting arrest while a top drug personality was arrested in a drug bust in Escalante City, Negros Occidental, on Thursday, May 5.

Police identified the fatality as Ronnie Lobaton Jr. of Barangay Old Poblacion, and the city’s top drug personality as Vincent Iwag, 24, of Sitio Cogon in Barangay Rizal.

Chief Inspector Robert Mansueto, chief of the Escalante City Police Station, said Iwag was the subject of the buy-bust and search operations. He was accompanied by Lobaton when he sold a sachet of suspected shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) to a police poseur-buyer for P1,000 at around 2:45 p.m.

When authorities served Iwag a search warrant issued by Sagay City Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) Judge Reginald Fuentebella on May 3, the suspect escaped along with Lobaton, Mansueto said.

Iwag was cornered after a brief chase while Lobaton was killed in a sugarcane field when he exchanged fire with pursuing policemen at around 5:30 p.m.

Recovered from Iwag’s house, considered a drug den, were a KG9 machine pistol with a magazine, a replica Colt .45-caliber pistol with two magazines, an 81mm mortar, and several drug paraphernalia.

Mansueto said Lobaton’s family has yet to claim his remains while Iwag, who would be subjected to a paraffin test, has been detained at the police station.

Iwag will face charges for illegal drugs and illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

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