Cebu News

2 ‘pushers’ killed in anti-drug drive

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Two suspected drug personalities were killed for allegedly resisting arrest and firing at pursuing authorities in two Cebu cities the past two days.

A man, on the other hand, was shot dead by two unidentified men in what the police said could be a drug-related attack in Barangay Pusok, Lapu-Lapu City early yesterday morning.

Rham Chielton Astilla, 21, was sleeping in their family’s Internet cafe around 6 a.m. with his brother, Anthony, 19, when the culprits entered and shot him in the back.

PO3 Lydo Pinos, case investigator, said the two siblings were the ones manning their Internet café, which was open 24 hours, when the attack happened.

Pinos said the two men suddenly came inside the cafe and shot Rham in the back. The sound awakened Anthony, who saw the two men flee from the scene.  Rham was taken to the Mactan Doctors’ Hospital but was declared dead at 7:15 a.m.

Pinos said medical personnel found inside Rham’s pockets five plastic packs of white crystalline substance believed to be shabu, which were turned over the police.

Asked if the recovered drugs may be connected to the shooting, Pinos said that they were looking at the possibility.

He said they are relying on Anthony as no one else was inside the Internet café when the attack happened. The establishment also has no security cameras.

In Taboc, Barangay Looc, Danao City a few hours before Rham’s death, operatives of the City Anti-illegal Drugs Unit of Danao City Police Station also killed suspected drug pusher Marcos Mansueto.

Police Officer 3 Arnold Labile, desk officer, told The FREEMAN that colleagues conducted a buy-bust operation on Mansueto yesterday dawn in Taboc.

After Mansueto allegedly accepted P200 in buy-bust money, he sensed that it was a sting operation and that the one who bought the illegal drugs from him was a police officer, prompting him to flee.

A brief chase ensued, with the policemen shouting at Mansueto for him to surrender. The victim allegedly opted to instead fire at the policemen.

Labile said since the lives of the operatives were in danger, they were forced to shot Mansueto, who was rushed to the hospital but was declared dead on arrival by the attending physician.

The police found in Mansueto’s possession a .357 revolver, five bullet shells, drugs paraphernalia, and several sachets of suspected shabu weighing 8.19 grams and with an estimated value of P96,642.

In the City of Naga last Sunday, Peter Montebon, number four in Naga City Police Station’s watchlist, was killed in a shootout with the police after he allegedly resisted arrest following an operation around 10:57 p.m. in Barangay Tinaan.

PO3 Gilmer Noval, case investigator, said Montebon had recently stepped up as a “big supplier” of illegal drugs in the city after the others quit due to their “intensified” anti-illegal drugs operation.

Noval said Montebon could allegedly supply the city more than five grams of shabu each week.

“Pag-abot namo sa ilang balay, amo unta i-permit ang warrant of arrest, all of a sudden nisibat siya, paingon sa luyo,” Noval said.

“Among gisugat, dayon in a split second, shoot out nahitabo. Unfortunately napatay ang subject person sa warrant,” he said.

Noval said that aside from neutralizing Montebon, they also handcuffed his girlfriend, identified as Leah Cabuncal, 29, of Barangay Liboron, Carcar City, as they were allegedly repacking suspected shabu when the police arrived.

The policemen recovered from Montebon a .38 revolver loaded with a bullet shell and two misfired cartridges in its chamber, one aluminum tin foil, four empty cartridge cases, one small transparent plastic sachet believed to be containing shabu; 20 pieces of small, heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet of suspected shabu weighing around 1.26 grams and with an estimated value of P17, 510 pesos, six pieces disposable lighters, and assorted drug paraphernalia.

Cabuncal, who admitted that she and Montebon sold illegal drugs, denied that her boyfriend was armed when the policemen came.

Meanwhile, a house caretaker was shot dead by his co-worker in Sitio Ibabao, Barangay Perrelos, Carcar City around 9 a.m. last Saturday.

Victim Joseph Angelo Lendio, 33, married, caretaker of the house of one Helena Incina, was having an argument with Bryan Tesio, 19, of Barangay Canlumacad, Santander, Cebu when the incident happened.

SPO2 Irving Avila said that witness Victoria de Asis, also a helper, told them that both the victim and the suspect had an argument when a fight ensued.

“Naglalis ni sila kung kinsa ang motugway sa kanding and after several minutes ang witness nakadungog ug duha ka gunshots,” Avila said.

The witness went to where she thought the shot came from and found an already lifeless Lendio, who was shot in the left eye and right chest.

The police found at the scene two bullet shells and a deformed .45 pistol bullet slug. 

A follow up operation resulted to Tesio’s arrest around 8:30 p.m. while Incina, who owned the gun he used, turned the firearm over to the police. (FREEMAN)



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