‘Drug peddler’ killed in police shootout
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon, Gregg M. Rubio, Iris Hazel M. Mascardo (The Freeman) - February 19, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — A suspected drug personality was killed during an alleged shootout with the police in Sitio Blessed, Barangay Lawaan III, Talisay City yesterday dawn.

JC Dacum Caballero,27, an alleged high-value target, was shot dead by agents of the Provincial Intelligence Branch (PIB) of Cebu Provincial Police Office in an armed encounter during a buy-bust operation.

Caballero allegedly pulled out a gun and fired at the cops after he sensed that he was transacting with police operatives, said Police Lieutenant Colonel Marlu Conag, PIB chief.

But the suspect reportedly missed hitting the policemen.

The members of the bust team retaliated, killing Caballero on the spot. Caballero’s remains were then brought to a funeral parlor in Cebu City.

Recovered from Caballero were 4.04 grams of shabu worth P27,000.

Conag said Caballero was the partner of Ryan Clifford Bacus alyas “Opaw,” a notorious drug trader in Talisay City who was arrested in 2018.

After the arrest of Opaw, Conag said, Caballero dominated the illegal drug trading in major areas in the cities of Talisay and Toledo and the municipality of Balamban. Toledo and Balamban are both located in midwest Cebu.

The PIB chief said a female drug distributor, who was previously arrested in an anti-illegal drug operation, pointed to Caballero as her source of illegal drugs.

The arrested woman was Caballero’s “downline.”

Conag said several operations were hatched against Caballero but the latter managed to elude arrest.

He said the PIB was able to track down Caballero when a family member filed a complaint against him for allegedly using his nephews, who are minors, as drug couriers.

Drug War

Meanwhile, the newly-installed regional director of the Police Regional Office-7, Police Brigadier General Albert Ignatius Ferro, is hoping the next Philippine president would continue President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war.

This as not to disrupt the momentum in the fight against illegal drugs, he said.

But Ferro said the community should also contribute to solve the problem on illegal drugs.

During the 888 News Forum at Marco Polo Plaza yesterday, Ferro said the region has adopted the project Resistance, Education Assistance For Drug for the Youth (Ready) of the Philippine National Police-Drug Enforcement Group (PNP-DEG), which he used to head.

The project is aimed at educating more grade school children on the ill-effects of illegal drugs.

Ferro is also seeking the support of the religious sector in their advocacy in educating kids on illegal drugs.

“We should have a drug program that is sustainable, self-reliant, and people-based where the people support,” he said.

Ferro sees the need to institutionalize the project Ready so it can be implemented even after the term of Duterte.

“If we work together, we can combat illegal drugs,” he said.

Aside from education drive, Ferro is also implementing the three-strike policy among the provincial and city directors, the squadding system, the eight-hour police shift during his term, and the internal cleansing program.

If police scalawags are removed, he claimed the proliferation of illegal drugs would be reduced.

BADAC Assesment

In a separate development, Lapu-Lapu City’s Anti-Drug Abuse Council (ADAC) Audit Team is set to assess the functionality of 40 Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (BADACs).

The BADAC is composed of the councilor who heads the committee on peace and order, the head of the barangay tanods, the principals of the schools located in the barangays and the president of the community associations.

Garry Lao, Lapu-Lapu Office of Substance Abuse Prevention (CLOSAP) executive director, said the team, which is chaired by Department of Interior and Local Government officer, will check whether or not barangays are active in their campaign against illegal drugs.

The assessment will start on February 11 and will end on March 27, 2020.

Lao said the criteria used in measuring the performance of the ADACs are as follows: organized local ADAC; conduct of quarterly meetings; allocation of funds; implementation of ADAC plans and programs; support to ADACs in component LGUs; and innovations.  Banat News Copy Editor, KQD (FREEMAN)

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