21 drug suspects killed in 9 hours
CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan — Twenty-six simultaneous antidrug operations have left 21 alleged drug offenders dead across Bulacan province, police said on Tuesday.
They called it the highest death toll in a single day since President Rodrigo Duterte launched his war on drugs in June last year.
The Philippine National Police, however, played down the large number of deaths, saying it was “normal” considering the number of operations carried out by the Bulacan police.
“If there were 22 or 25 operations conducted, it is normal. If a single operation resulted in that many deaths, that is where there will be questions,” Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos, PNP spokesperson, told reporters at PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
Carlos, however, said the PNP Internal Affairs Service would investigate the operations that resulted in the deaths of suspects.
The “One Time, Big Time” police operations came as Bulacan celebrated its 439th foundation day.
The operations began at 7 p.m. on Monday and ended after nine hours early on Tuesday.
Of the operations, 24 were for the entrapment of suspects and the rest were for the execution of search warrants.
Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat, Bulacan provincial police office director, said in a report that 21 drug suspects were killed and 64 others were arrested in the operations in Marilao, Obando, Pulilan, Balagtas, San Miguel, Plaridel, Guiguinto, Norzagaray, Malolos, San Jose del Monte, Santa Maria, Baliwag, San Ildefonso, Bustos, Hagonoy and Bocaue.
Caramat said 21 firearms and more than 100 grams of “shabu,” or crystal meth, worth P500,000 were also seized during the operations.
Cash and drug paraphernalia were also recovered.
Police records show that since the crackdown started, 3,264 alleged drug offenders have been killed in gun battles with law enforcers.
More than 2,000 others died in drug-related homicides, including attacks by motorcycle-riding masked gunmen and other assaults.
Police said the suspects who were killed in the Bulacan operations had offered resistance against arresting officers.
Senior Insp. Lynelle Solomon, Bulacan police information officer, said two suspects identified only as Egoy and Tom fought back and were shot dead in an entrapment operation in Marilao town.
Solomon said the two men were armed with a revolver and a shotgun and were caught peddling shabu.
In Obando town, Solomon said, two suspects identified as Enan and Justin shot it out with officers to whom they were selling shabu when they sensed they had been caught in an entrapment operation.
Another suspect, identified only as Bert, was killed when he shot it out with police in an entrapment operation in Pulilan town, Solomon aid.
A man identified only as Alvin was killed in a raid in Balagtas town, she said. Recovered from the man was a revolver and six sachets of shabu, she added.
In San Miguel town, a suspect identified only as Chris shot it out with policemen and was killed. Recovered from him were a revolver and five sachets of shabu.
In Plaridel town, drug suspect Jerome was killed in a clash with police, while suspect Yayot and a companion fought back and were killed by officers in another raid in Guiguinto town.
In Norzagaray town, an alias Allan Tattoo, a certain Arnold and an unidentified man were killed when they fought officers who were enforcing a search warrant.
Details of the clash were not available. Police said they recovered two revolvers, a shotgun and two sachets of shabu from the suspects.
Clash with officers
Suspects Jeffrey and Willy were killed in a clash with officers in the drug operation in the City of Malolos, while suspects Elias and Eugene were slain in the operation in the City of San Jose del Monte, where 50 drug suspects were also arrested and 27 sachets of shabu seized.
Two men were killed when they fired at policemen at a checkpoint. Police did not say in their report where the incident happened. Neither did they say whether they had identified the two men.
In the operation in Santa Maria town, undercover drug agents shot and killed a man identified only as Macoy when he fired at them.
In Baliwag town, officers shot and killed one alias Pugeng Manyak, who they said fired at them with a revolver.
Before Monday’s raids, Bulacan police had killed 14 drug suspects in operations from July 31 to Aug. 9.
They also had arrested 100 drug suspects during operations in the past two weeks.
Other raids, other deaths
In Cagayan province, three suspected drug pushers were killed in a police operation in Alcala town on Monday.
Asnali Datu, Hasim Cali and an unidentified man were killed in a clash with narcs from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and policemen in Tupang village in Alcala, according to Laurefel Gabales, PDEA director for Cagayan Valley.
In Nueva Ecija province, a suspected drug peddler and his companion were killed in a clash with policemen during an entrapment operation in Pag-asa village in Talavera town.
Police said Edmond Dacir fired at narcs as he fled on a motorcycle driven by Abel Erica.
The two men were killed when the narcs fired back. —With reports from Melvin Gascon, Armand Galang and AP
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