19 suspects killed in drug war
Rey Galupo (The Philippine Star) - September 21, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The drug war death toll continued to rise as 19 people, including a police officer, were killed in separate incidents in Metro Manila since Monday.

Nine of the suspects were killed by police in legitimate anti-drug operations. The rest were shot dead by unidentified assailants believed to be vigilantes.

Thirteen of the suspects were killed in Manila alone.

The body of a man said to be involved in illegal drugs was fished out of the Pasig River in Binondo yesterday.

Members of the Manila Police District Station 11 killed four drug suspects in a reported shootout following a raid on a drug den in San Miguel Road, also in Binondo on Monday.

Police identified the fatalities as Rogie Sebastian, Ormando Arcega, Rolando Sandoval and Solomon Hardinel.

Their cohorts, Karen Aquino and Lourdes Dacama, were arrested in the raid.

Two policemen – PO2 Marco Moulik and PO1 Marc Viola – were wounded when Hardinel allegedly opened fire at the policemen.

They were taken to the Manila Doctors Hospital for treatment.

Another drug suspect was found along Lacson Avenue in Sampaloc yesterday, Senior Police Officer 4 Glenzor Vallejo of the Manila Police District homicide unit said.

Vallejo said the man’s hands were tied and his face was covered with duct tape. His mouth was gagged with a towel.

A placard saying he was a thief and a drug pusher was recovered beside him, police said.

Probers said they recovered several spent shells of .45-caliber pistol and three sachets of shabu from the suspect.

After a few minutes, another drug suspect was found dead at the corner of Sisa and Sto. Tomas streets, also in Sampaloc.

Conrado Belicano, 35, and Rondino Garcia, 55, both members of the Bahala na Gang, were killed in a drug sting at the corner of Algeciras and Maria Clara streets, according to police.

Juanito Centeno was killed in an anti-drug operation along Hermosa street in Tondo, police said.

Police said they recovered a .38-caliber revolver, drug paraphernalia and marked money from Centeno.

Centeno’s partner was arrested during the operation.

Another drug suspect identified only as Jayson was killed by unidentified assailants on Antipolo street, also in Tondo.

A man described to be between 35 and 40 years old was found dead at the corner of Raxabago street and Dagupan Extension, also in Tondo.

Police said the man could have been killed due to illegal drugs.

‘Narco cop’ slain

In Caloocan, a police officer allegedly linked to the illegal drug trade was killed in an ambush by two men on a motorcycle yesterday.

SPO1 Jack Francisco was on his way home on a motorcycle when the assailants waylaid him along Maharlika street in Barangay 176, Bagong Silang.

A witness told probers that one of the gunmen made sure that Francisco was dead before taking the policeman’s bag.

An official of the Caloocan police said Francisco was allegedly involved in illegal drug deals.

Another drug suspect, Ely Engbino, 31, was shot dead by three men who broke into his house in Deparo, Barangay 168.

Engbino died at the scene.

Edenil Esguerra, 35, a traffic enforcer assigned in Navotas, was shot dead by unidentified men in front of the Malabon Hotel in Barangay Ibaba.

Inspector Dennis Javier, Malabon police chief investigator, said they were investigating if the killing of Esguerra was related to drugs.

In Pasig City, a suspected drug pusher was killed in an alleged shootout with police.

Michael Rovero was declared dead on arrival at the Pasig City General Hospital, police said.

Rovero allegedly yielded two sachets of shabu and drug paraphernalia, Eastern Police District director Chief Superintendent Romulo Sapitula said.

Sapitula said a team headed by Chief Inspector Renato Castillo was validating the presence of alleged high-value drug target, Salamodin Tumara, alias Urak, along M.H. del Pilar street in Barangay Palatiw when occupants of a house ran away upon seeing the approaching lawmen at 4:10 a.m.

Police said Tumara and Rovero fled on a motorcycle but were pursued by Castillo’s team.

Upon reaching Luis street in Barangay San Miguel, Rovero got off the motorcycle and reportedly fired at the policemen who retaliated, killing him on the spot.

Tumara managed to escape.

In Marikina, suspected drug personalities Raffy Custodio and Romnick Calocoy were killed in separate incidents.

Police said Custodio and Calocoy were shot dead by unidentified assailants one hour apart in Barangay Concepcion Uno.

Residents described Custodio and Calocoy as known drug pushers and robbers in the area.

Sapitula ordered the Marikina police to look into the killings.

In San Juan, Roberto Garsain, alias Bobby Waray, was killed when he allegedly shot it out with police following a drug sting along P. Narciso street, Bahay na Bato in Barangay Corazon de Jesus.

Garsain died at the scene from multiple gunshot wounds.

Garsain was the subject of Oplan Tokhang of the San Juan Police Community Precinct 4.

Police said Garsain was about to handover P300 worth of shabu to SPO2 Abundo Panes, who posed as buyer, when he noticed that he was dealing with a policeman.

Police said Garsain pulled out his gun and fired at Panes twice but missed, prompting the police officer to return fire.

Garsain reportedly yielded two sachets of shabu, marked money and a handgun of unknown caliber.

QC cop tests positive for drugs

A Quezon City policeman tested positive for drug use after a random drug testing on Monday.

Batasan police station commander Superintendent Lito Patay said the police officer was assigned at the Police Community Precinct 5 in Payatas.

“He tested negative during the first drug testing in July,” Patay said.

Patay refused to identify the policeman pending results of the confirmatory test by the PNP Crime Laboratory. – With Non Alquitran, Robertzon Ramirez

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