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26 killings traced to slain drug suspects’ guns

Camp Tomas Caringal, the headquarters of the Quezon City Police District

MANILA, Philippines — At least 26 cases of killings in Quezon City have been traced to guns allegedly used by suspects killed in firefights with police during drug stings in the past year. 

The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) said four firearms recovered from the crime scenes of different shootouts were involved in at least 26 drug-related killings since the start of the war on drugs.

They were also used in a homicide case involving the killing of two people in 2015 and another homicide in a different city. 

The four guns were among multiple firearms recovered by the police in four separate shootouts, which led to the death of 10 drug suspects. 

Through the Integrated Ballistics Identification System of the Philippine National Police-Crime Laboratory, it was determined the four guns were “hits,” or matched the spent shells and bullet fragments recovered in more than 26 deaths under investigation of the police. 

A hit is established if markings on the recovered fired cartridge case match the unique markings made by the gun in a test shot by investigators. 

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A gun recovered from slain drug suspect Ian Sierva matched the spent shells recovered from 19 killings in October and November last year, some of which were just hours apart.

All 19 deaths were in six barangays under the jurisdiction of the QCPD Station 6 near the Batasang Pambansa complex. 

Sierva was killed in his house on Dec. 10, 2016 during a drug sting. He was killed when he allegedly tried to shoot back at the arresting lawmen.

Another firearm recovered two months earlier from an alleged gunfight that killed two drug suspects, one of them a minor, matched five killings in Quezon City and another in Bicutan, Taguig City. 

One of the two guns recovered from Jerson Padilla and 17-year-old Amerson Reyes Fernandez, who were killed during an encounter with Batasan police on Sept. 29, 2016, matched the bullet fragments recovered from six killings. 

All of the five slain suspects in Quezon City were allegedly involved in the drug trade, police said.

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