3 drug suspects slain on way to Cebu court

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Three inmates facing drug charges were killed in an ambush while being escorted to a court hearing in Cebu yesterday.

Yayam Gaviola, 40; Marwin Abelgas, 27, and Jovencio Rabado, 37, were in a van with two jail guards when unidentified men strafed the vehicle in Barangay Linao, Talisay only 300 meters away from the city jail at around 9:21 a.m., Senior Superintendent Manuel Abrugena, Cebu police director, said in a text message.

The driver of the van was wounded and brought to a hospital where the inmates were pronounced dead on arrival. The jail guards were unhurt.

Abrugena said the cohorts of the suspects in the illegal drug trade could have staged the ambush.

He said cell phones containing drug transactions were confiscated from the suspects in a recent raid on the city jail.

5 killed in drug stings

Five other suspects were killed in alleged shootouts with law enforcers in drug stings in Bulacan, Batangas and Laguna in the past two days.

Antonio Ligon, alias Jojo, reportedly drew his gun when he sensed he had sold the shabu to undercover agents in Barangay Sta. Monica, San Pablo, Laguna at around 4:56 p.m. on Thursday.

Police said Ligon was a member of the Amante drug ring operating in Laguna and ranked 16th in President Duterte’s drug watchlist. 

Ronel Ladap reportedly shot anti-narcotics agents in Barangay Tipaz, San Juan, Batangas.

Constantine Lester Belvis, 30, alias Saging, a resident of Barangay Pulong Buhangin, Sta. Maria, and Bienvenido Garcia, 47, of Sto. Rosario, Malolos both in Bulacan reportedly shot it out with police officers on Thursday and yesterday morning, respectively.

Chief Superintendent Chito Bersaluna, acting Bulacan police director, said nine other drug suspects were arrested in San Jose del Monte, Norzagaray, Obando, San Rafael, Bocaue and San Miguel. He said the suspects yielded 35 sachets of shabu, drug paraphernalia and marked money.

In Cavite, 151.4 grams of shabu with an estimated street value of  P1.028 million were recovered from Ronel Exequiel, 35; Jacklyn Yosa, 37, and Vergilio de Mesa, 44, who were arrested in a drug bust in Barangay Bayanan, Bacoor at around 6 p.m. also on Thursday.

Police said a cell phone and a Mitsubishi Adventure were recovered from the suspects, who are operating in Las Piñas City. – Ramon Efren Lazaro,  Ed Amoroso

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