Cebu News

Central Visayas kill toll: 232 drug personalities killed in over 2 months

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - At least 232 alleged drug personalities have been killed in Central Visayas as of yesterday since July 1, the Police Regional Office-7 reported.

Of the figure, cases of those killed by unidentified assailants are higher than those killed during legitimate police operations, said PRO-7 director Noli Taliño.

“One hundred six were killed in action while 126 were killed under investigation,” said Taliño, adding that those 126 killed are still under verification if they were really drug pushers or users.

For the same period, Taliño further reported, at least 2,032 drug personalities have been arrested, 989 of whom are believed to be drug pushers and 1,043 believed to be users.

Since the implementation of Oplan Tokhang, according to Taliño, at least 73,406 have surrendered in Central Visayas. He stressed that although these drug personalities have surrendered, they are still under police monitoring.

President Rodrigo Duterte gave the Philippine National Police six months ultimatum to eradicate illegal drugs in the country. Just recently, though, he extended the deadline to another six months.

Taliño said this is a good development, although he said they tried their best to meet the six months deadline.

Pushers killed

Meanwhile, another reported drug pusher was killed during a police operation in Barangay Magdugo, Toledo City on Tuesday.

Virgilio Sombelon, Jr. alias “Toke,” a resident of the area, was shot dead by operatives of the Provincial Intelligence Branch of Cebu Provincial Police Office, making him the 106th alleged drug personality killed in action.

Sombelon was shot by the operatives when he reportedly resisted arrest after the buy-bust transaction was consummated.

Armed with a cal. 45 pistol, he reportedly shot at the police but missed, prompting the police to retaliate.

Sombelon was rushed to the hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

Police arrested Sombelon’s wife Melinda who was in the area during the operation.

Surrenderer killed

In Barangay Balud, San Fernando, a drug surrenderer was killed by two unidentified assailants while sitting along the road around 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

Victim John Carl Cañares, 34, a resident of Barangay Panadtaran, died of gunshot wounds to the head and different parts of the body.

Police Officer 1 Charben Sapio of San Fernando Police Station said that two unidentified men riding on a motorcycle stopped in front of the victim and shot him.

Sapio said one of the possible motives they are looking into the incident is the victim’s alleged involvement in illegal drugs. The suspect, according to the investigation, has also been recently separated from his wife.

Police recovered from the crime scene four empty cartridges of a pistol.

Investigation is ongoing to identify the perpetrators and establish their motive. Investigation also includes whether Cañares, a drug surrenderer, returned to using illegal drugs. (FREEMAN)

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