A WEEK after four drug suspects were killed in shootout with police in Pontevedra, Negros Occidental, another drug suspect was killed when he resisted arrest in Calatrava town past Wednesday midnight.
Police identified the fatality as Jobert Apurado, 34, of Barangay Looc, who was identified as the fifth drug personality in the town’s drugs target list.
Superintendent Gil Flores, chief of Calatrava Municipal Police Station, said Apurado sold a sachet of suspected shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) to a police poseur-buyer for P100 during a meet-up along the national highway at around 12:30 a.m.
When he sensed the presence of other operatives, he started to run and fired his gun at them, prompting the policemen to neutralize him.
Police recovered from Apurado a sachet of shabu, drug paraphernalia, cash amounting to P630, and a .38 caliber revolver.
Flores said Apurado’s companions Fernando Albarico of Calatrava town, who yielded a sachet of Shabu, and Ray-yan Ignacio of San Carlos City were also arrested during the operation.
He added that Albarico is under the town’s target list while Ignacio was previously arrested in San Carlos for possession of illegal drugs when he was still a minor. Both will be subjected to a drug test.
Drug charges are being readied against Albarico and Ignacio, who are detained at the station.
‘Peaceful drug campaign’
Meanwhile, Negros Occidental Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said on Wednesday he is glad that the anti-drug campaign in the province is “very peaceful.”
Despite some cases where drug suspects were killed, “it was clear that they engaged our men in uniform in a gun battle,” he said.
Lacson stressed though that he doesn't condoned killing.
“We don’t want a policy to kill first and ask questions later. Personally, (I believe) it (killing) should not be a policy. The motivation of running after drug pushers and users to take away their lives, I don’t agree to that,” he added.
Lacson said that human rights should always be respected.
On the number of drug suspects who yielded to authorities, Lacson said that it is a “very small percentage,” considering that the province has over two million population.
As of July 31, more than 21,000 drug users and pushers have surrendered to the police in Negros Occidental.
Lacson also said there’s a need to reform the justice system in the country to address the massive number of prisoners in jails.
“The jail is full because there’s no quick justice. It takes so much time,” he added.