Soldier selling drugs slain in Davao del Sur shootout
DIGOS CITY, DAVAO DEL SUR – A former intelligence officer of the 39th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army was killed in a police anti-drug operation at 10 p.m. Wednesday on Jose Abad Santos Street of Barangay Zone-3 here.
Lt. Col. Vici Anthony Tababa, Digos City acting police chief, said Sergeant Reginald Labajo, 35, had been the subject of a buy-bust operation of the police and anti-drug operatives here.
Labajo used to work for the 39th IB intelligence unit.
Labajo, a resident of Abella Subdivision in Barangay Zone 1 here, was riding a four-wheeled vehicle when he noticed the operatives trailing him and fired the first shots, Tabada said. This move prompted the policemen to fire back causing the death of the soldier.
Police recovered four sachets of suspected shabu (crystal meth) weighing 40.7 grams valued at P276,556 in the market, according to the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) standard.
Also recovered from Labajo’s possession were a 9mm Glock-17 with an inserted magazine and two spare magazines, the report said.
In Kidapawan City, Lt. Colonel Geoffrey Carandang, 39th IB battalion commander, confirmed that Labajo had been a member of the Bravo Company based in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur.
“He was our former intelligence officer, but I transferred him to the Bravo Company. However, we cannot monitor his other activities all the time,” Carandang said.
The Davao del Sur police subjected the former military officer to surveillance for his alleged involvement in illegal drug trade before Wednesday’s operation.
Carandang said he was sad to know that a soldier had been involved in illegal drugs, but clarified that he did not tolerate such. He said his office had been conducting random drug testing among the troops.
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