Top Zamboanga del Norte cop slain in buy-bust in Dipolog City
ZAMBOANGA CITY – One of the top police officials in Zamboanga del Norte died in a drug buy-bust operation in Dipolog City on Monday night.
Police Chief Inspector Helen Galvez, spokesperson of the police regional office here, said Supt. Santiago Ylanan Rapiz, chief of the logistics branch of the Zamboanga del Norte police, tried to escape at the height of a drug raid in Dipolog City and was killed in a shootout in front of the Andres Bonifacio College Gym at 7:40 p.m. on Monday.
“The operation resulted in an armed encounter between the operatives and the suspect. This led to the death of the suspect identified as Police Supt. Santiago Ylanan Rapiz,” Galvez said.
She said when Rapiz sensed the operation, he tried to escape but was cornered by the arresting elements, composed of the Police Counter-Intelligence Task Force (CITF) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
“Instead of giving in to the authorities, he drew his firearm and fired towards the arresting elements. The operating units retaliated and fired back, hitting him. He was immediately rushed to the Corazon Aquino Hospital in Dipolog City but was pronounced dead on arrival by the attending physicians,” Galvez said, citing a report from the CITF.
Seized during the operation was a transparent sachet containing a white substance believed to be crystal meth, worth about P50,000 and a .45-caliber pistol.
Chief Supt Emmanuel Luis D. Licup, director of the police regional office 9, said Rapiz used to work for the police regional office 18 in Bacolod before he was reassigned here on October 18, 2016.
Licup earlier warned the regional police here that they had been cleansing its rank. He said 31 police personnel had been tested positive for illegal drug use during the random drug testing they conducted in the region while 11 others had been arrested in anti-drug raids since January this year.
So far, three police personnel were “neutralized,” during two police operations in Zamboanga Peninsula, he added.
Aside from Rapiz, two policemen were killed in a shootout with operatives of the CITF on August 18, this year.
Police Officer 3 Ronald Bernardo and Police Officer 2 Ma. Oliver Olaso, both of the station drug enforcement team of Zamboanga City Police Office’s Police, were killed in August during a shootout with the raiding police team.
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