Village councilman slain in ‘armed encounter’ with Tarlac cops
MABALACAT CITY, Pampanga—A councilman of San Sebastian village in Tarlac City was killed before dawn on Saturday, July 23, in an alleged “armed encounter” with the police at a bypass road in Ungot village in the city.
In a statement, the Police Regional Office 3 (PRO3) identified the killed councilman as Frank Martin Bonus, a “top priority regional high-value individual” in its campaign against illegal drugs.
The PRO3 said members of the Tarlac City drug enforcement unit, provincial intelligence unit, and regional drug enforcement group conducted a buy-bust operation around 3:50 a.m. on Saturday against Bonus.
“Upon sensing that he (Bonus) was dealing with lawmen, (the) suspect immediately drew his firearm and fired toward the operating troops, which caused the police officers to return fire and resulted in his instantaneous death,” the Central Luzon police said.
Police allegedly found an Armscor 9-mm pistol with a magazine loaded with live bullets, four fired cartridge cases, and four plastic sachets containing alleged “shabu” (crystal meth) at the crime scene and recovered the two marked P1,000 bills used in the operation.
A netizen, who introduced herself as a parent of Bonus, reacted to the PRO3’s social media post about the alleged armed encounter, saying her son was not a drug peddler.
“My son was not a pusher! He was undergoing psychiatric treatment!” the netizen said in Filipino.
Bonus ran for councilor in Tarlac City in May 2022 elections under the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan but lost. He obtained around 12,000 votes. INQ
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