‘Hitman’ tagged in 27 killings in Laguna
SAN PEDRO CITY, Philippines — A man, who allegedly acted as the hitman for drug syndicates and local politicians, was killed in a police shootout in Bay, Laguna, on Wednesday morning.
Senior Supt. Eleazar Matta, Laguna police chief, identified the suspect as Ruel de Chavez, a native of Sariaya, Quezon but later moved in to hide in Barangay Paciano, Bay.
Police had been hunting down de Chavez since 2017 in Batangas province, but he was able to escape a prior operation.
On Wednesday, intelligence officers and members of the Bay police carried out a buy-bust operation against the suspect in Barangay Masaya around 8 a.m.
Matta said the suspect handed out a sachet of suspected shabu (crystal meth) to undercover policemen but suddenly opened fire during the sting operation.
Police returned fire and killed him instantly.
Quoting a police operational plan, Matta said de Chavez worked for the Batang Kubo or the Bantugon gun-for-hire syndicate that targeted rival drug groups.
He said the suspect was also “contracted” by some local politicians in the provinces of Laguna, Batangas, and Quezon to assassinate political opponents in preparation for the May elections.
Matta did not immediately disclose the names of the victims but said that Chavez had been involved in at least 27 incidents of killings in Laguna and Batangas./lzb
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