Attack on NPD post tied to drug busts, and it was not the first
MANILA, Philippines — It was business as usual on Langaray Street near the boundary between Caloocan City’s Dagat-Dagatan area and Barangay Longos, Malabon City, hours after a detachment of the Northern Police District (NPD) was shot at and rocked by a grenade explosion early Saturday morning.
But nearby residents in the two cities remained worried about their safety, noting that the detachment had been attacked at least three times in the past.
According to NPD district director Brig. Gen. Ponce Rogelio Peñones Jr., three men on two motorcycles suddenly strafed and threw a grenade at the NPD Drug Enforcement Unit (DDEU) office on Larangay Street, Barangay 14, Dagat-Dagatan around 1 a.m.
Witnesses and police officers on duty said the attack lasted just under a minute, starting with around five gunshots then followed by an explosion.
Panicked customers at a nearby eatery scampered for cover and crouched under tables, some of them spotting the assailants on their motorcycles fleeing toward Dagat-Dagatan Avenue and then C-3 Road.
No one was reported hurt in the attack, but at least two parked vehicles and the steps in front of the DDEU office were damaged.
Two bullets hit the office wall, shattering a mirror and a framed poster—one that contains the mission statement of the Philippine National Police.
In an interview, Peñones said this “threat and harassment” must be the handiwork of “drug personalities.”
“It was not their intention to inflict casualties since they knew there were only a few people in that office at the time of the attack. This is clearly a form of intimidation from drug personalities in retaliation for our intensified operations,” he told the Inquirer.
Over the past few weeks, he said, the NPD had arrested some “high-value targets” and seized several kilograms of crystal meth (“shabu”) worth millions of pesos.
Among the recently arrested suspects were Samsudin Rasid and Johaima Jamael, who were entrapped by NPD DDEU agents on April 23 in Barangay 185, Caloocan. The sting operation intercepted some 200 grams of shabu worth P1.36 million.
Peñones said the NPD was already looking at some “persons of interest” in connection with Saturday’s attack.
Bella Loca, an administrative officer of Barangay 14 in Caloocan, said the incident reminded her of the “massacre” of civilians and police officers that happened at the same NPD detachment in the early 1990s. Back then, she said, the gunmen were also suspected to be working for drug lords.
“The last attack may just be a warning (since) no one was hurt. But what if they do it again? During daytime? This makes me afraid because Langaray is a very busy street,” she said.
The NPD DDEU shares the compound with the district command’s Special Operations Unit and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group’s Northern (Metro Manila) Field Unit. It is about a five-minute drive from the NPD headquarters on Dagat-Dagatan.
Next to it are two schools—Macario B. Asistio Sr. High School and Imelda Elementary School—and the San Exequiel Moreno Parish Church. On the Malabon side, the detachment faces a row of houses and a market area.
“Rest assured that the NPD is on top of the situation. We are doing the best that we can to ensure peace and order in the Camanava (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela) district,” Peñones said.
2 drug suspects busted in Caloocan City, over P1 M shabu seized
2 ‘high-value’ drug suspects busted; P1.36M ‘shabu’ seized in Caloocan City
Grade 11 student busted in Valenzuela City drug sting; over P2 million ‘shabu’ seized
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