By Jonathan A. Santes
Davao City — They dared peddle illegal drugs in President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s own hometown, and they paid dearly for it with their lives.
Five persons were killed after they chose to shoot it out with government authorities who launched simultaneous dawn raids in different areas in this city known to have developed serious drug problems.
However, as of press time, Tagum has yet to release the identities of those slain in the drug raids and where they were killed – except for one who was reportedly neutralized after a shootout with lawmen in Tibungco District.
Davao City Police Sr. Supt. Alexander Tagum said the “One Time, Big Time” operations also resulted in the arrest of 64 other drug personalities, all nabbed on the strength of search warrants obtained after a series of test-buys by government agents.
“Those who were killed in the raids chose to fight it out with the authorities “at sinawing palad kasi gustong tumabla sa aming operatives (and they were unlucky because they wanted to get even with our operatives),” Tagum told reporters at Camp Leonore here where the drug suspects were presented to City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency for Region 11 (PDEA 11) Director Adzhar Albani reported that his agency has noted a decrease in the supply of illegal drugs in Davao City, and averred that most of those arrested were small time pushers.
As such, Albani said “the price of shabu in Davao City has increased to P15,000 per gram, which is now the highest in the country.”
The PDEA Chief also said most of the illegal drugs that have found their way into the city are coming from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Carpio lauded the Davao City Police, PDEA and other government agencies which conducted the raids, saying “it was a job well done in one day.”
Meanwhile, a barangay chairman was killed by unidentified gunmen in Barangay Saray, Iligan City, an area where the rampant sale of shabu was previously reported.
Roberto Fuentes was conducting patrol around the barangay Thursday afternoon when motorcycle-riding gunmen shot him in front of a hardware store along the national road in Tibanga. He did not reach the hospital alive after sustaining gunshot wounds in the head and body.
Iligan City Police Director Sr. Supt. Leony Roy Ga said Fuentes was on their drug watchlist, although the barangay official had already gone to one of the city’s precincts to deny his involvement in illegal drugs.
In Butuan City, a suspected drug dealer was also killed while two other drug suspects were wounded in a buy-bust operation conducted by local police in Purok 6, Barangay Libertad, Butuan City last May 18.
Killed during the operation was Reynaldo L. Abordo, alias Opaw, and a resident of Purok 1, Barangay Sabangan, San Isidro, Davao del Norte.
The wounded were identified as Reneboy Maputol Guno, 32, and Johnny V. Calawigan, 32, who are both from San Francisco, Agusan del Sur.
A total of P11.8 million worth of suspected shabu, four .45-caliber pistols and other drug paraphernalia were among those seized from them by intelligence operatives of Butuan City Police Office (BCPO) and Police Regional Office 13 (PRO 13). (With reports from Camcer Ordonez Imam, Mike U. Crismundo)
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