2 drug suspects shot dead

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Unidentified motorcycle-riding men have gunned down a van dispatcher and an out-of-school youth in La Union and Cagayan.

Charles Padilla, 17, was walking in Barangay Pengue-Reyu, Tuguegarao at around 11:30 p.m. on Monday when he was shot. He suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead on arrival at the Cagayan Valley Medical Center.

Probers are eyeing illegal drugs as the motive for the killing.

Van dispatcher Ullysis Cruz, 42, was waiting for passengers along the highway in Barangay Consolacion, Agoo, La Union yesterday morning when the gunmen arrived and shot him several times. 

Chief Inspector Roy Villanueva, Agoo police chief, said Cruz surrendered under Oplan Tokhang last year, but reportedly resumed his illegal activities.

Cpl. Lehamber Acosta, 31, of the First Signal Battalion of the Joint Task Force Basilan  and barangay treasurer Dante Rebollos, 23, were arrested in drug stings in Purok Chico Hills, Barangay Tuburan, Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur and San Roque, Payao, Zamboanga Sibugay, respectively, on Monday.

 Police said a sachet of shabu, drug paraphernalia and marked money were each recovered  from the suspects.

In Pangasinan, Wilbert Castro, alias Toking, the alleged leader of a drug ring operating in Dagupan, was arrested in a raid on his safehouse in Barangay Malued yesterday.

Castro reportedly yielded an undetermined quantity of shabu in small sachets, weighing scales, two caliber .45 pistols, two grenades and drug paraphernalia.

The suspect, who is on the drug watchlist in the city, is also tagged in the killing of Police Officer 2 Jimbo Agtarap last year, among several other shooting incidents. He is also an alleged member of a syndicate involved in car theft.

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