Cebu News

To clear his name: Cohort of ‘drug pusher’ councilman surrenders

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The driver of the alleged getaway vehicle on which a barangay councilman of Talisay City, who is an alleged level 1 drug pusher and an operator of a gun-for-hire service, boarded after shooting it out with authorities surrendered to the police to clear his name.

Adhmann Sigue Canangga-an alias Boyet, 40, surrendered to the Talisay City Police Station yesterday after he was linked to the shootout Wednesday afternoon between the police and Barangay Maghaway, Talisay City councilman Felix Abacajan Jr. and his alleged cohorts.

Canangga-an, a PUJ operator, denied any involvement in the shootout in Barangay Maghaway during the implementation of a search warrant in Abacajan's house.

The operatives of Provincial Intelligence Branch (PIB) of the Cebu Provincial Police Office served the search warrant for illegal possession of firearms against Felix and his brother, Joeser Abacajan.

PIB chief, Superintendent Germano Mallari, said during the implementation of the warrant, only Joeser and Julian Bong-hanoy Jr., an alleged cohort, were in the house. They allegedly shot it out with the operatives, which lasted for about 10 minutes.

Joeser and Bonghanoy were killed during the operation. The two were rushed to the hospital but were declared dead on arrival.

But during the shootout, Felix, together with an unidentified cohort later identified as Canangga-an, disembarked from a vehicle and allegedly also engaged in a shootout with the operatives.

Felix and Canangga-an, however, left the area when reinforcements from the Regional Special Operations Task Group (RSOG)-7, Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC)/Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) from Cebu Provincial Police Office (CCPO), Talisay City Police Station, Naga City Police Station and Minglanilla Police Station arrived.

The operatives were able to recover from Felix's house one KG9 machine pistol, three caliber 45 pistols, two shotguns, one M16AA1 riffle with 40 mm grenade launcher attached, one magnum 22 air gun riffle, one magnum 22 riffle, two riffle grenade, one 40 mm grenade launcher ca-nister and several rounds of different ammunitions.

Mallari said prior to the application of the search warrant, they received a report that Felix conducted checkpoints in Barangay Maghaway and all motorcycles that passed by the area were searched. The councilman's cohorts allegedly had with them long firearms.

The checkpoint was allegedly conducted after Felix was shot by an unidentified person sometime in August.  When the police received the information, they conducted surveillance and found that it was true.

Upon verification before the Firearms Explosives Security Service Agency and Guards Supervisory Section (FESSAGS), they learned that Felix has no license to possess firearms.

Felix was the chairman of the committee on peace and order, public safety and sports development for Barangay Maghaway.


Mallari disclosed that Felix and his men allegedly run a gun-for-hire operation.

The operatives are also verifying reports that those killed by the group have been buried in Maghaway.

Mallari said it is also under verification if Felix is linked to a bigtime drug personality, Franz Sabalones, who voluntarily surrendered to Police Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa earlier this year.

For his part, Canangga-an said Felix was in their house prior to the incident. When they learned that Felix's house was being searched by the police, they got onboard his Nissan Navarra and he dropped Felix in his house. He said he never got out and he did not take part in the shootout.

Minutes later, he said he saw Felix running towards his vehicle wounded. Felix is a cousin of Canangga-an.

When they drove off, Canangga-an said he dropped Felix before reaching Linao barangay hall in Talisay City and then he went home.

He added that he was not able to ask Felix about his gunshot wounds because he was already panicking.

Later, he said he went to Barili to purchase a door for his newly-constructed house.

Around 9 p.m., when he arrived back in Talisay, he said he surrendered to the Talisay Police Station upon the advice of his relative, a police officer.

Talisay City police chief,    Superintendent   Aileen Recla, confirmed that Felix was identified as a level one drug pusher and was included in the station's high profile targets.

Prior the operations, she said they have been hoping that Felix would voluntarily present himself to the authorities.

Recla believes that anytime soon, Felix will surrender after sustaining serious injuries during the shootout and that they have also asked hospitals to report to the police if the councilman seeks medical attention for his wounds.

Further, Recla disclosed that the illegal drug trade in the barangay lessened when Felix and his brother submitted themselves to authorities under the Oplan Tokhang last month.

However, his armed group allegedly still operates, said Recla.

Talisay City Mayor Eduardo Gullas said that he will leave the issue with the barangay councilman to the cops.

"I won't intervene, I will leave everything to the police," Gullas said. — Mylen P.Manto and Iris Mariani P. Algabre (FREEMAN)

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