IN JUST 12 hours, eight suspected drug pushers and one user were killed in separate shooting incidents in Cebu. Six died as a result of police operations, while unidentified gunmen were responsible for the other three deaths.
In Toledo City, four drug pushers were killed in what police described as a shootout during a buy-bust operation against Jerome Gara, 49, in Sitio Sta. Ana, Poblacion yesterday dawn.
“They’re supposed to conduct a buy-bust operation, the normal buy-bust operation that we are conducting but accordingly it resulted into a shootout with a group,” Provincial Police Director Jose Macanas said.
Police identified those who died as Gara, who was the subject of the buy-bust, and his three alleged cohorts, Remby Dolino, 22, Carlito Marinay, 43, and Richard Borbon, 48.
A decoy bought shabu in Gara’s house around 2 a.m. yesterday while the three others were guarding him.
They reportedly noticed the other policemen who were serving as back-up to the decoy, and all three drew their guns.
All four were gunned down by the operatives.
Macanas said that they had other buy-bust operations in the towns of Minglanilla, Barili and Sogod, and no one died in these areas.
“I’ve been through these police operations. Adrenaline-pumping yan, ang maiisip mo lang is basic training, cover, concealment, fire, kailangan makauna ka most of the time (Because your adrenaline is pumping, all you can think of is the basic training, cover, concealment, fire. You have to be the one who fires first most of the time),” Macanas said.
Found at the scene were shabu weighing 100 grams, one .45 pistol, three .38 handguns, ammunition, drug sniffing paraphernalia, a weighing scale and P2,050 cash.
The drugs could have fetched as much as P500,000 in street sales.
A buy-bust operation also claimed the lives of two alleged drug pushers who were on the watch list of the Consolacion police, although the operation took place in Moalboal town.
Marciano Tabotabo, 41, and a certain Gamy were shot down by operatives in their shanty at 2 p.m. yesterday.
According to police reports, Gamy managed to fire first at police before he was shot along with Tabotabo, who was the subject of the buy-bust.
Shabu weighing 16.92 grams (worth about P250,000 out on the streets), three guns, a weighing scale and various drug paraphernalia were found at the scene.
A 17-year-old minor who was with Tabotabo and Gamy was also picked up and detained in the Moalboal POlice Station.
Another series of attacks by motorcycle-riding gunmen caused the deaths of two alleged drug pushers, one in Liloan town and one in Barangay Pasil, Cebu City, and a drug user in Barangay Duljo-Fatima.
At 8 p.m. last Tuesday, Eddie “Waray” Pangatungan, 51, was shot dead while playing mahjong with his friends in Sitio Suba, Barangay Poblacion, Liloan.
Two masked men on a motorcycle approached the group. The back rider disembarked and shot the victim several times.
Residents of the place said that Pangatungan had already surrendered to the police as a pusher.
Another drug user was shot dead by an unidentified assailant while he was in a drinking session in Barangay Pasil, Cebu City yesterday at 12:10 a.m.
PO3 Nicolo Gonzalez of the Homicide Section of Cebu City Police Office said that Chrisar Babatid, 27, and a resident in Barangay Pasil, was drinking with his friends when two persons on a motorcycle appeared behind him and shot him several times.
“Naa iyang mga kauban kainom pero wala sila kaila, nikalit og abot, naog dayon (His friends were there but they didn’t recognize the two men who suddenly arrived),” Gonzalez said.
Babatid sustained several gunshot wounds in his body and head.
According to Gonzalez, the victim had gone to the Pasil Police Station a month ago and submitted himself for profiling.
His friends rushed Babatid to Cebu Medical Center, but he succumbed to his injuries while the two suspects left the area on a motorcycle.
The police recovered from the crime scene four empty shells and one deformed slug.
Matt Rizon, 40, an alleged drug user, was found dead after his neighbors heard four gunshots in an alley in Sitio Buli, Barangay Duljo at 1:30 a.m. yesterday.
Gonzales said that the victim’s neighbors did not see who fired the shots.
“Naa’y nakakita, lalaki daw pero wala na klaro ang nawong (One of them saw a man, but didn’t get a good look at his face),” Gonzales said.
The victim succumbed to gunshot wounds in the stomach and arm.
Another man was found dead in Barangay Cubacub, Mandaue City last Tuesday night.
Jeje C. Codezar, 28, a resident of Purok 6-Mahogan in, Cubacub, was shot by an unidentified assailant who rode an XRM motorcycle at 8 p.m.
The gunman wore a full-faced helmet and shot the victim several times.
Codezar, who was one of those who presented themselves to Mandaue Police Station 6 last July 24, was shot several times in the chest and other parts of his body.
In an interview, PO3 Nestor Montecillo said that Codezar was alone in a sari-sari store during the attack. No witness has come forward.
Police investigators recovered 11 empty shells fired from a .45, two slugs and one small heat-sealed plastic sachet that contained shabu. These were brought to the PNP Crime laboratory for examination. With Julie Mae Altamira, Danielle Ann Tan, and Mae Angelica Genodiala, USJ-R Interns