âNinja copâ slain in Quezon City drug bust
The suspect was pronounced dead on arrival at the Novaliches District Hospital from multiple gunshots to the body. There were no casualties on the lawmen’s side.
Edd Gumban/File

‘Ninja cop’ slain in Quezon City drug bust

Emmanuel Tupas, Non Alquitran (The Philippine Star) - December 10, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A retired police officer tagged in shabu recycling in Metro Manila and nearby provinces was shot dead in an alleged shootout with lawmen in Quezon City before dawn yesterday.

Tirso Lactaotao, 48, who held the rank of corporal before he retired from the police service last month, allegedly opened fire at operatives of the Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG) who were about to arrest him following a drug sting in Barangay Novaliches Proper at around 12:25 a.m.

IMEG chief Col. Ronald Lee said Lactaotao reportedly pulled out a handgun after sensing he was dealing with a policeman, prompting authorities to retaliate.

The suspect was pronounced dead on arrival at the Novaliches District Hospital from multiple gunshots to the body. There were no casualties on the lawmen’s side.

According to Lee, Lactaotao had been in their radar screen for allegedly recycling narcotics seized in law enforcement operations when he was still a member of the Antipolo City police.

“Intelligence report showed that the suspect had long been involved in drug pushing in Rizal and nearby areas,” Lee said.

Police said they recovered from the suspect seven sachets of shabu, a 9mm pistol, two cell phones and P2,000 in marked money.

Maj. Robert Reyes, spokesman for the IMEG, said they are monitoring at least 10 “ninja cops” or policemen recycling narcotics who are said to be Lactaotao’s cohorts in the drug trade.

Reyes did not disclose the policemen’s identities who are assigned in Metro Manila, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) and Central Luzon.

Police said they were conducting operations to neutralize Lactaotao’s drug suppliers.

“These rogue policemen, mostly corporal in rank, have not learned their lesson. They continue their illegal activities despite the intensified internal cleansing campaign by our superiors,” Lee said.

In another drug sting in Quezon City, police confiscated an estimated P3.4 million worth of shabu from a 33-year-old woman on Sunday night.

Mary Ann Francisco, alias Madam, was nabbed at the parking lot of the Cubao expo at the Araneta Center at around 8 p.m.

Police said an agent of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency was able to set up a transaction with Francisco that led to her arrest.

The suspect yielded 500 grams of shabu, a mobile phone and the marked money, probers said.

Twelve other suspects were collared in separate anti-narcotics operations in Barangays San Jose, Paang Bundok, Bahay Toro, Baesa and San Roque.

The suspects are being held by police on charges of violating Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act. – With Romina Cabrera

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