Cebu News

‘Drug lord’ killed

The Freeman

Seven also nabbed for ‘shabu’ 

CEBU, Philippines - A day after the police killed a suspected drug pusher in Catmon town last Saturday, a suspected “drug lord” died in Barangay Tubod, Toledo City after his arresting officers shot him allegedly for pulling out a machine pistol on them yesterday afternoon.

It also came more than 24 hours after a man who yielded packs of suspected shabu also died after he allegedly fell while trying to avoid policemen chasing him in Sitio Bliss, Ibabao, Cordova town past 2 a.m. Saturday.

Nicanor Tapara, 44, who was first brought to the Cordova Rural Health Center, was declared dead on arrival at the Lapu-Lapu City District Hospital an hour after his arrest.

Senior Inspector Alexander Nuñez, Police Officer 1 Leonard Ompad and PO1 Mark Ronald Pacina were on mobile patrol in Sitio Bliss when they saw a group of bystanders in the area.

The policemen approached the group but Tapara allegedly suddenly ran away, prompting Nuñez, Ompad and Pacina to give chase.  Because it was dark and Tapara was running fast, he allegedly stumbled and hit his head hard on a rocky portion of the unpaved road.

Nuñez and his men, who got suspicious why Tapara, who was conscious but disoriented, suddenly fled, frisked him and found in his possession six small packs of suspected shabu.

But Because Tapara appeared unwell, the policemen brought him to the Cordova Rural Health Center for medical examination instead of straight to their station for booking. Tapara died while being transferred to the Lapu-Lapu City District Hospital.

In the Toledo City operation, aside from killing Wilson Villanueva, who was in his 40s, Cebu Police Provincial Office-Provincial Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group operatives also arrested four men and rescued a 17-year-old half-German girl.

Danilo Flores; Vincent Barcenas; Julius Cuberos; and the mother of the rescued girl were placed under police custody as a result of the raid.

 Senior Police Officer 1 Reynaldo Solante said that as soon as they announced that Villanueva was under arrest, he allegedly pulled out an Ingram, prompting forcing them to open fire.

“Ang iyang nagunitan machine pistol, dili mi mo-allow nga makablitan niya. Inig pabuto niya imposible nga di maigo ang mga tawo sa sulod, labi na tong bata, mao to napugos mi’g neutralize niya,” Solante said.

Villanueva, who succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds, was declared dead on arrival at the Toledo City Hospital.

Authorities also seized four large packs and a medium pack of suspected shabu with an estimated street value of P271,000 during the operation. Aside from the Ingram machine pistol, the police likewise found a .45 pistol in Villanueva’s possession.

Solante said the suspect is considered a drug lord and his network of operation extends up to Negros island.

He said that prior to their operation, they placed Villanueva under a month-long surveillance operation and learned that he sometimes went to the house of the 17-year-old girl, where they found the slain suspect yesterday.

The mother of the girl was said to be the owner of the house, which allegedly also served as a drug den.

“Dili ko siguro nga unsa ka lapad iyang network, (but) public knowledge ni, identified ni nga mao ning iyang business,” said Tubod Barangay Councilor Ernesto Jaranilla, referring to Villanueva.

Solante said they acted on the report that Villanueva sometimes would indiscriminately fire a gun and that he has a relationship with the minor, who would be turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development for proper intervention.

In Sitio Semborio, Tayud, Liloan town past midnight Saturday, the police also arrested a suspected drug pusher in a buy-bust operation.

Leo Pepito, 27, was handcuffed after he sold a pack of suspected shabu worth P200 to a poseur-buyer. A subsequent search led to the confiscation of three medium packs and six small packs of suspected shabu valued at P141,010.

Meanwhile, also in northern Cebu, the police arrested Jovenla Buot Jr., 45, and Ricky Prieto, 33, in another buy-bust operation in Barangay Poblacion, Danao City.

The police seized almost P300,000 worth of suspected shabu from  Buot and Prieto. In particular, Buot yielded five small packs and a medium pack of suspected shabu while Prieto allegedly had with him three small packs of suspected shabu.

The two would be charged today for violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. — /RHM (FREEMAN)


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