1 killed, 3 nabbed in Southern Mindanao drug busts
DAVAO CITY— A high-value target in the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign was killed while three others, including a government employee, were arrested in a series of anti-illegal drug operations in Southern Mindanao, police said Sunday.
Chief Inspector Milgrace Driz, Southern Mindanao regional police spokesperson, said Rusty Gomez, a resident of Monteverde village here, died after a shootout with lawmen who were serving a search warrant against him around 3:50 a.m. on Friday.
Driz identified Gomez as the number eight in the city’s list of top drug personalities.
The suspect allegedly fired at elements of the Sta. Ana Police Station when they arrived at his house to serve the warrant but missed, prompting one policeman to restrain him. But Gomez allegedly tried to shoot the lawmen again, forcing one of them to fire at him.
Driz said Gomez was rushed to the Southern Mindanao Medical Center but was declared dead upon arrival.
Recovered during the search was a black container and seven sachets of suspected “shabu” (crystal meth) weighing about 3 grams, with an estimated street value of P15,000.
The operation, which was witnessed by village officials and representatives from the Department of Justice (DOJ, also resulted to the recovery of a Taurus caliber 38 revolver with three bullets and an empty casing in its chamber, an empty casing for a 9 millimeter pistol, and several pieces of drug paraphernalia, the regional police spokesperson said.
In Tagum City, Davao del Norte, police also collared Michael Quevido, an employee of Tagum City local government and a resident of Visayan Village in Tagum, on Saturday.
Seized from Quevido, who is considered a Level 2 high value target, were two big sachets and four small sachets of shabu, during a buy-bust operation around 2:30 a.m., Driz said.
On Friday, Ryan Sibaen of Panabo City and Carlo Gana of Apokon in Tagum were likewise arrested during a buy-bust operation.
Recovered from the suspects were three sachets of alleged shabu, P500 marked money, and drug paraphernalia.
The suspects were now in police custody as charges were being readied against them, Driz said. /ee
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