A SUSPECTED big-time drug pusher was killed in a shootout with the police in Sitio Sambag, Barangay Magdugo, Toledo City last Tuesday afternoon.

Virgilio “Toke” Sombelon Jr., who was in his 30’s, succumbed to several gunshot wounds in different parts of his body.

His wife Melinda was arrested by operatives of the Provincial Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group and Provincial Intelligence Branch. She was the one who gave a sachet of white crystals believed to be shabu to a cop pretending to be a junkie.

Sombelon left seven children with Melinda, who recently suffered a miscarriage.

Seized during the operation were 30 grams of white crystals believed to be shabu worth P354,000 and drug paraphernalia.

At 10:30 p.m. last Tuesday, a team from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) 7-Metro Cebu caught Desiderio Homecilo Bensulan and his cousin Jocelyn Rapaya Bensulan in El Grande, Barangay Cogon, Cebu City.

Supt. Fermin Armendarez, CIDG 7 assistant director, said they seized 10 grams of shabu worth P40,000 and the P260 buy-bust money.

In the Toledo City operation, Senior Insp. Leo Logroño of PIB said they hatched a buy-bust against the suspects avfter they received information that they were involved in the illegal drug trade.

Sombelon reportedly replaced his fellow group members after they surrendered to the police and opted not to engage in illegal drug trade anymore.

The police official added they conducted a week-long surveillance on the suspects and confirmed that they were really selling shabu.

Sombelon was included in the new list of drug personalities operating in Toledo City.

A loaded .45 pistol with two magazines and two empty shells were also found in the area.

Level two

The suspects, who operated mainly in Toledo City, were reportedly level two drug pushers who could disposed of 200 to 300 grams per week.

Logroño said they arrested Melinda first inside the suspects’ house. Afterwards, Sombelon allegedly tried to rescue his wife by shooting at the operatives.

The raiding team retaliated. Sombelon was able to run outside by jumping from the window.

The operatives chased him and continued shooting at him until he got hit. Sombelon was rushed to the city’s public hospital, where the attending doctor declared him dead on arrival.

A complaint for violating Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, will be filed against the arrested suspects.

Mandaue bust

Two persons allegedly involved in illegal drugs were also killed by two unidentified persons on motorcycles in separate incidents in Mandaue City.

A drug surrenderee was shot yesterday while driving his pedicab past 4 p.m. at F. Mendoza St. in Barangay Cambaro.

Marlon Seno, 30, a resident of Purok Camote in Cambaro, was able to run after he was shot three times in his stomach, but eventually fell on the ground about four meters from his pedicab.

According to the witness, the two suspects, who were a black motorcycle, wore helmets, long pants and jackets.

PO3 Bryan Berenguer of Mandaue Police Station 5 said Seno surrendered last July.

Authorities got information that Seno returned to selling illegal drugs so they visited him again during their Tokhang operation together with Cambaro Barangay Councilor Artemio Seno last Saturday, said Berenguer.

Seno had not surrendered after the police’s last visited his house.

The police recovered three shells and a slug of .45 pistol in the crime scene.

In Barangay Cabancalan, a former barangay tanod was shot several times by two unidentified suspects last Tuesday night.

Lloyd Cañonejo, who was believed in his 40s, was killed while he was just standing in the corner of M.L. Quezon Avenue near Hidden Homes Village in Cabancalan at 8:55 p.m.

PO2 Jay-R Galabin of Police Station 4 said the suspects, who were wearing helmets to cover their faces, arrived in the area on a motorcycle and shot Cañonejo.

Galabin said the victim was listed in the drug watch list of Mandaue Police Station 4 for selling illegal drugs.