THREE suspected drug pushers were killed during anti-drug operations of the police in the towns of Dalaguete and Asturias last Saturday.

In Talisay City, a suspected drug user in Barangay Lawaan 3 who allegedly refused to surrender to the police was shot dead by two unidentified assailants during the weekend.

Two brothers, Eusebio Dayap, 31, and Juan Dayap, 32, were allegedly selling drugs to a police decoy when the older Dayap noticed the man’s signal to his colleagues at 11:45 p.m. last Saturday.

In Asturias, Carl Anderson Basadre was allegedly selling drugs in his usual spot behind the public market when another police decoy transacted with him at 1:15 p.m.

All three suspects, the police said, triggered a shootout during the buy-bust operations.

In Talisay, the police denied allegations they were shooting suspected drug personalities who refused to cooperate with Oplan Tokhang, where the police knock on the doors of suspected users and peddlers and persuade them to give up drugs.

The operation is in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s pledge to wipe out illegal drugs and other crimes in the first three to six months of his term.

In the Dalaguete case, younger brother Eusebio Dayap immediately went inside his room to get a Uzi KG-9 submachine pistol and alerted his brother of the police’s presence. The brother drew his .357 revolver.

Juan allegedly fired at the officers first and was gunned down.

No witnesses

“Gikahadlokan ni sila’s barangay kay si Eusebio nakapatay na na’g tanod samtang si Juan nakapatay na sa siyudad. Wala na sila’y kaso kay walay mobarog nga witness kay maldito man (They were feared in the barangay because Eusebio killed a tanod while Juan killed someone in the city. They don’t have criminal cases because no witnesses would stand against them because of their notoriety),” Senior Insp. Danilo Santillan told Sun.Star Cebu.

Their own mother reportedly fled to Manila because she was afraid of her own sons, Santillan said. One of their brothers, alias “Temio”, has a pending warrant of arrest for murder and is on the loose.

The suspects were known in the mountain barangay of Barangay Bulak as the Dayap brothers and were street peddlers who allegedly sourced their drugs from Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz of Duljo-Fatima.

Diaz himself died in a police shootout in Las Piñas last June.

The Dayap brothers were placed under two months’ surveillance.

Santillan said that the two were farmers but when they found a contact that sold drugs in Barangay Duljo-Fatima, Eusebio and Juan turned into drug pushers.

“All the barangays of Dalaguete are affected by illegal drugs,” he said, citing Poblacion and Kawayan as the remaining areas with many drug peddlers.

Market link

Because of the daily trips of vehicles from Mantalongon to Carbon Market and vice versa, it has become easy for drug peddlers to transport their drugs even to mountain barangays, Santillan added.

The two were rushed to the hospital but died before they could get there.

Recovered from the scene were the two brothers’ guns with live ammunition, seven small sachets and three medium plastic packs that weighted 4.4 grams. Based on the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) estimates, these would have fetched P51,920 in street sales.

In the Asturias case, Basadre was allegedly alarmed when he saw other policemen after he transacted with a decoy. He tried to shoot the authorities but his gun misfired.

According to PO3 Nilo Aventurado, desk officer of Asturias Police Station, the suspect noticed the officers.

“Kabantay siya maong gikablit niya iyang pusil pero wala mibuto (He spotted the officers so he pulled the trigger of his gun but it misfired),” he said.

A certain “Mark” (name withheld), a cousin of the slain Basadre who presented himself yesterday to sign a waiver for Oplan Tokhang, said he has been persuading Basadre to surrender.

“Gibuyag na namo pero dili man mupatuo (We already scolded him but he wouldn’t listen),” Aventurado quoted Mark as saying.

Back-ups ready

The back-up security of the team, sensing the danger to the police decoy’s life, fired at Basadre before the latter could fire again.

Basadre had multiple gunshots.

Confiscated from Basadre were a .38 caliber pistol with four live ammunitions and a dud bullet, 14 small packs of shabu and P540.

Basadre had escaped from a buy-bust operation in Barangay Looc Norte last month, Aventurado added.

Meanwhile, local police in Talisay City denied allegations they are shooting suspected drug personalities who refuse to surrender.

Supt. Germano Mallari, Talisay City police chief, said that part of their orders was to urge suspected drug users to

surrender, without resorting to force or intimidation.

But if a suspected drug user is armed and attempts to fight back, local police are allowed to use the necessary force, he said.

As to the case of 46-year-old Julieta Echavez, she and fellow victim Ralph Gabaca were not subjected to their Oplan Tokhang operations, Mallari said.

1 survived

Barangay officials were the ones who tried to convince Echavez and Gabaca to surrender to the police but they reportedly refused.

At 3 a.m. last Saturday, Echavez was staying in Gabaca’s house in Sitio Cadicay, Lawaan 3 when two unidentified assailants suddenly barged in and fired at them several times before fleeing.

Gunshots hit Echavez in the chest, left leg, left hand and chin. She was dead by the time she reached the Talisay City District Hospital an hour later.

Gabaca survived the attempt on his life and is currently in a public hospital in Cebu City.

Mallari said that the two were suspected drug users, based on statements the police received from barangay officials.

Meanwhile, the head of the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office (LLCPO) warned his station chiefs that they could lose their jobs if they fail to arrest at least 50 percent of the persons on their watch lists.

Senior Supt. Arnel Libed, LLCPO chief, gave the warning following orders from Police Regional Office 7 Director Chief Supt. Noli Taliño when he assumed office last week.