Cebu News

Cops said 15-year-old tried to shoot them: Teen shot in raid

Michael Vencynth H. Braga - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - A 15-year old boy in Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City, became the latest casualty in the government's war against criminality and illegal drugs after he allegedly tried to shoot it out with the authorities.

Chief Inspector Christopher Lucas Navida, head of the City Intelligence Branch, said police were conducting anti-drug operation past 8 p.m. on Saturday when the incident took place.

The operation came after police received information about an armed person and an illegal drug trade going on at Damiana's Compound in Barangay Guadalupe.

CIB personnel went to the compound with personnel of the City Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group of the Cebu City Police Office. Navida said after they arrived they saw a group of persons playing "Tong-its," an illegal card game, beside the road.

Some of them men ran away upon after seeing them and policemen gave chase.

Upon reaching a narrow area, one of the men, later found to be 15 years old, allegedly gestured like he was pulling a gun tucked into his pants.

Navida said police immediately opened fire, hitting the minor in his back.

"Inangat ng bata ang baril niya. The point na meron siyang hawak na baril, threat na 'yon," he said.

They confiscated a .45 cal. pistol with seven live rounds from the possession of the minor after he had been shot. Police also said he dropped packs of suspected shabu during the chase.

Navida said they are still looking into how the minor was able to get hold of a gun, but he said that a person involved in the illegal drug trade would have the means to buy a gun.

Police brought the minor to the Cebu City Medical Center for treatment, but he was later transferred to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center after his condition stabilized.

Police will be filing criminal a complaint against the minor for alleged illegal possession of firearms and violation of Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002).

Navida said the minor's parents claimed the boy was innocent, but he said this was not likely considering that the minor was with a group of "runners" and "tipsters" who served as lookouts warning against approaching law enforcers.

Also arrested during the operation were Girlie Peñas, 38, and Dexter Verano, 21, both residents of the same barangay. Police reportedly seized seven small packs of suspected shabu from Peñas and two small packs of suspected shabu from Verano. Complaints for violations of the anti-drug law will also be filed against them.

Those arrested for illegal gambling were identified as Noel Delero, Mark Ryan Verano, and Jonathan Labastida. A certain John Paul Verano, Dexter's brother, eluded arrest after he allegedly jumped into a creek upon noticing the approaching policemen.

The Veranos are included in the Guadalupe Police Station's drug watch list, Navida said. (FREEMAN)

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