Trafficker killed, 3 cops hurt, 15 arrested in Lanao Sur anti-shabu raids
All suspects arrested on Friday in Picong, Lanao del Sur are now in the custody of the Philippne Drug Enforcement Agency.
Philstar.com/John Unson

Trafficker killed, 3 cops hurt, 15 arrested in Lanao Sur anti-shabu raids

John Unson (Philstar.com) - May 15, 2021 - 2:09pm

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — State operatives killed a recalcitrant drug dealer and arrested 15 others in separate inter-agency operations in a major shabu transshipment area in Picong, Lanao del Sur Friday.

Three policemen, Master Sgt. Rafael Abdulah of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region and Patrolmen Melvin Habiling and Richard Nicolas, both members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, were hurt when a 40 millimeter grenade projectile fired by one of the suspects exploded near them.

Major Esmael Madin, provincial officer for Maguindanao of the CIDG-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, said Saturday Habiling and Nicolas are safe, now being treated for blast injuries.

A fine metal fragment hit Abdullah in the face, according to PRO-BAR officials.

A drug ring leader, Kareem Usop Abedin, was killed in the ensuing gunfight.

Juvenal Azurin, director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said Saturday the joint anti-narcotics operations on Friday of PDEA-BARMM, the Navy’s 5th Marine Battalion, the CIDG-BAR, the National Bureau of Investigation and units of PRO-BAR were premised on tips from villagers aware of large-scale drug trafficking activities in Picong.

Followers of the slain Abedin --- Ansano Ampuan, Amrudin Sarip, Aminodin Ditucalan, Samsudin Itaw, Libot Dimaampao, Liya Dimaampao and Jerry Toma --- peacefully turned themselves in when they sensed that their location had been surrounded by anti-narcotics operatives ready to attack if they refuse to cooperate.

PDEA-BARMM agents seized from them 23 sachets of shabu and two M16 assault rifles.

Azurin and Police Brig. Gen. Eden Ugale of the Bangsamoro regional police have separately confirmed that eight more, Gorbani Bitucalan, Jomar Pagayawan, Samin Abdillah, Alioden Buale, Bokari Dagu, Asrap Dimampa, Jasser Baguan and Jomar Abdul, were arrested in a subsequent raid in another area in the same town.

Ugale said PDEA-BARMM and PRO-BAR personnel found in the drug den of the eight suspects 58 sachets of shabu, drug sniffing paraphernalia and a fragmentation grenade.

The target of the third raid, Camar Mauyag, also a known large-scale drug distributor in Picong, had scampered away before PDEA-BARMM agents and policemen could surround his house.

PDEA-BARMM agents recovered in Mauyag’s house five sachets of shabu, left as he fled in haste.

Witnesses told reporters they saw Mauyag carrying a green bag possibly containing shabu as he ran away, an assault rifle slung on his right shoulder.

“We are grateful to the Marines, to units of PRO-BAR, to the Lanao del Sur provincial police, to the Picong municipal police, to the NBI and to the CIDG-BAR for the good teamwork during our operations in Picong,” Azurin said.

Brig. Gen. Jonas Lumawag, commanding officer of the 1st Marine Brigade, said Saturday he has directed their intelligence agents to help the PDEA-BARMM, the NBI and the CIDG build airtight cases against the drug traffickers arrested on Wednesday.

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