War on drugs: Death toll hits 59

Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - June 26, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The police crackdown on illegal drugs continues as eight more drug suspects were killed in separate operations in Quezon City and the provinces Friday night.

The latest killings brought to 59 the number of drug-related deaths since the May 9 elections.

Three suspected members of a drug ring were killed after they traded gunfire with police during a sting operation at the University of the Philippines Arboretum in Diliman, Quezon City.

Two of the fatalities were identified as Virgilio Arcega and Darwin Moralla. Five other suspects eluded arrest, the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) said.

Case investigator Police Officer 2 Virgilio Mendoza said the suspects were members of the Joselito Gonzales drug group operating in Quezon City and nearby cities.

Mendoza said 10 police officers, led by Senior Insp. Dondon Llapita of the QCPD’s anti-illegal drug special operations task group, conducted the sting in a shanty at the UP Arboretum in Diliman at past 10 p.m.

Police recovered from the suspects an undetermined amount of shabu and P8,000 in marked money.

In Cagayan, unidentified men shot dead a barangay chairman in Tuguegarao City and two others allegedly involved in illegal drugs.

Two sachets of shabu were reportedly recovered from the car of MacKenric Pagulagayan of Barangay Balzain, according to city police chief Supt. Jessie Tamayao.

Tamayao said Pagulayan was with his wife, child and housemaid when the incident happened.

Pagulayan died at the scene. His wife Jonella Kaye and housemaid Daryll Tumaneng were hurt and taken to the Cagayan Valley Medical Center.

Tamayo said Pagulayan was not in the list of drug personalities but it was his relative, Gerald Pagulayan, who was nabbed in a sting early this month.

In Burgos, Isabela, Jerry Borromeo, 31, tagged as the No. 1 drug personality in Quirino town, was killed in an ambush staged by unidentified assailants.

Burgos police commander Senior Insp. Angelito Ramirez said the suspects in two sport utility vehicles blocked Borromeo’s car along the provincial road in Barangay Caliguian.

Authorities recovered 20 grams of shabu from Borromeo’s car, Ramirez said.

Another drug suspect was killed in an ambush in Sta. Marcela, Apayao.                 

Marlo Labbao, 42, tagged as the most wanted drug pusher in Apayao, was in his car on his way home when he was waylaid in Barangay Emiliana.

Labbao was declared dead on arrival at the Sta. Marcela District Hospital.

Police recovered more than one gram of shabu, drug paraphernalia and a .45-caliber pistol from Labbao’s vehicle.

In Bulacan, another suspected drug pusher was killed after he traded shots with police in a drug sting in Barangay Bancal, Meycauayan.

Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino, acting Police Regional Office 3 director, identified the suspect as Rodelio de la Cruz.

Aquino said De la Cruz was listed as the No. 1 drug personality by the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council.

Recovered from the suspect were 38 packets of shabu, a loaded .38-caliber revolver and drug paraphernalia.

De la Cruz was also involved in robbery cases, police said.

Another drug suspect, Herbert Toralba, was killed in a shootout in Barangay Ayala, Zamboanga City yesterday, Supt. Rogelio Alabat, spokesman for the Police Regional Office 9, said.

More arrests

The Manila Police District rounded up 68 people in separate drug raids in Binondo and Ermita.

Police officers assigned at the Meisic police station in Binondo nabbed 54 drug suspects, including 21 minors, at past 4 a.m. yesterday. – With Raymund Catindig, Artemio Dumlao, Ric Sapnu, Roel Pareño, Francis Elevado, Celso Amo, John Unson, Cecille Suerte Felipe, Ghio Ong

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