A FATHER and his son were killed during a buy-bust operation in Barangay Paknaan, Mandaue City yesterday dawn, with the police claiming that the two had tried to shoot them.
Less than 24 hours before that in Barangay Maribago, Lapu-Lapu City, another man was also shot and killed in a buy-bust by the Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG) 7.
The father and son who died in Mandaue were identified as Jerome Abad, 43, and Junmar, 22. Jerome had been listed in the Mandaue City Police Office’s (MCPO) watch list for illegal drugs.
Police identified the man who died in Lapu-Lapu as Joselito Orat Taneo, 27. He was rushed to the Mactan Doctors’ Hospital after the shooting, which took place minutes before 5 p.m. last Monday, but he did not make it there alive.
Since July 1, 2016, at least 76 persons have been killed in government operations against illegal drugs in Central Visayas. That figure excludes suspected users or pushers who have been killed by so far unidentified assailants.
The Mandaue City Intelligence Branch (CIB) led by Senior Insp. Pedy Noval V conducted the operation against the Abads past 3:30 a.m. in Zone Ahos.
While a police decoy approached Abad to buy illegal drugs, the rest of the team positioned themselves in the area, including near the door of the ground floor where Junmar was staying. The police said they had received reports that the latter owned a gun.
After the police decoy bought a sachet of shabu from Abad, the latter reportedly noticed that the decoy scratched his head—a signal for the other police officers.
Noval said that the suspect ran upstairs, pulled out a .45 pistol and tried to shoot the CIB team. They opened fire.
Abad’s son Junmar looked out from his room on the ground floor but reportedly went back into his room.
Noval said that his team asked Junmar, 22, who was with his wife and four-year-old son, to get out. The wife heeded the order and brought the child outside, but Junmar did not do so.
Police said they went inside and saw Junmar holding a .38 revolver.
According to the police report, two police officers fired before Junmar could shoot them.
An emergency rescue team reached the scene and declared both Abad and Junmar dead.
Police found the father and son’s firearms with live ammunitions, the P200 used in the buy-bust, about P10,290 cash, drug paraphernalia, two iPad tablets, three phones and three samurai swords.
Also seized were 17 small sachets of shabu, with an estimated street value of P3,400.
Senior Supt. Roberto Alanas, director of MCPO, said that Abad’s family used to live in Sitio Mahayag of Barangay Subangadaku but they were relocated to the 6.5-hectare relocation site in Paknaan.
He said Junmar was also selling illegal drugs.
The police coordinated with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, said Alanas.
According to the MCPO’s evaluation, Abad went back to his old ways after he was visited during the police force’s Tokhang operation.
“Syempre ang ating mga police naman inobserve nila police operation procedure. Kung ang isang baril ay tinutok at pinutok sayo pumutok man yan o hindi wag mo na hintayin yung pangalawa, kailangan meron ka nang action (Our police observed the correct procedure. If a gun is pointed at fired to you, do not wait for a second shot. Act),” Alanas said.
In a report on TV5’s Aksyon Bisaya, Abad’s wife, Estella, admitted that he used and sold illegal drugs, but she believed that her husband did not resist arrest.
Mandaue Mayor Gabriel Luis Quisumbing said the police have been active in the war against illegal drugs, but he will not allow them to put their lives on the line.
“For me, the optimal solution is always an arrest. However, if their (police) lives are in danger, I fully support a shooting solution to make sure that their lives are protected,” Quisumbing added.
The Abads were not the only ones killed in Cebu in the last 48 hours as part of the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.
Another suspected drug personality was killed in a buy-bust by operatives of the Regional Special Operations Group 7 in Sitio Datag, Barangay Maribago, Lapu-Lapu City at 4:51 p.m. last Monday.
Joselito Orat Taneo, 27, was rushed to the Mactan Doctors’ Hospital, but he did not make it alive.
The operatives’ target was another alleged drug pusher, Carina Hiyas Pagatungan, but she evaded arrest when Taneo reportedly arrived in the area and tried to shoot the police. No one from the RSOG team was hit.
The report from the team led by Senior Insp. Ricardo Tero stated that Taneo was a trusted man of Pagatungan, who escaped with the marked P1,000 used in the buy-bust.
Found in the area were a .45 pistol, bullets, packs of white crystals believed to be shabu, and drug paraphernalia.
At 4 p.m. on the same day, a team led by Chief Insp. Franco Rudolf Oriol caught Raulito Pilapil Pepito and Richard Guevarra in Barangay Yati, Liloan.
Seized from them were P67,000 worth of illegal drugs.
Later that evening, 37-year-old Haiet Mendoza was caught inside her house in Barangay San Isidro, Talisay.
Suspected junkie Darren Niño Davis, 19, and Mendoza’s live-in partner Jason Faburada Amiñon were also caught during the operation.
Several packs of dried marijuana leaves were seized from their possession.
Complaints for violating Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 will be filed against Pepito, Guevarra, Mendoza, Davis and Amiñon.