Drug suspect’s death questioned but cops justify operation
A 42-year-old drug suspect was killed after he allegedly traded shots with Caloocan City policemen on Wednesday.
However, Christian Patimo, the victim’s son, claimed that his father, Crisanto “Toteng,” was taken from their neighborhood by men wearing bonnets around 7 a.m. the day before.
The 22-year-old Patimo said that witnesses had told him the men who took his father were policemen. Crisanto, the witnesses added, did no resist so it came as a shock when he was found dead on the railroad tracks on 3rd Avenue around 1 a.m. Wednesday.
Twice-weekly police visits
The Patimos lived in a small alley near Rajah Soliman Street, Barangay 37 in Caloocan City. Residents told the Inquirer that policemen in civilian clothes would visit their area at least twice a week to look for drug suspects.
According to the spot report of the Caloocan City police, members of the Station Special Operations Unit and Drug Enforcement Unit were monitoring Crisanto when the “suspect sensed the presence of police operatives” and fired at them.
The police said they had no choice but to shoot Crisanto. Based on the police report, the policemen recovered from him 19 sachets of what appeared to be “shabu” (crystal meth), a sachet containing dried marijuana leaves, a digital weighing scale, a 9-mm pistol, a magazine loaded with five bullets, nine casings, a slug and a sling bag.
Not a gun owner
But Patimo said his father did not own a gun and was not involved in the drug trade. He told the Inquirer that his father had been shot six times, once in the chest, and there were also bruises all over his body.
“The Lord will take care of the killers,” he said, adding, “I’m just worried for my 3-year-old child who was raised by my father.”
Senior Supt. Restituto Arcangel, Caloocan police chief, claimed that they had received reports in January about the victim’s illegal drug activities in Manila, Caloocan and Bulacan province.
“We really wanted to arrest him because we thought we would get information about his supplier,” he said.
Arcangel added that the police team had set up a buy-bust operation but Crisanto fired at them.
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