80 men rounded up by Navotas cops after killing of policeman at fish port
MANILA, Philippines—The Navotas City police apprehended around 80 men on Thursday in the fish port where a policeman was killed Monday, while arresting a suspect.
The “Oplan Galugad,” an anti-crime operation, was conducted by five ranking police officials, 65 police non-commissioned officers (PNCO) with barangay officials at around 6 a.m. at Market 3, Barangay North Bay Boulevard North (NBBN), according to a police report.
The Navotas City Police Station (NCPS) also dispatched 16 personnel wearing civilian attire, who were positioned at different areas and inner alleys of the village.
Senior Supt. Romeo Uy, the NCPS chief, said it was a “normal operation” and was not done only because a policeman had been killed.
PO1 Julius Mendoza, 31, was shot dead while PO2 Aldeen Legaspi, PO1 Isaac Orellanes and PO1 Rolando Cruz were injured in an encounter Monday night with gang members believed to be protecting the crime suspect.
The policemen were trying to arrest Marlyn Rueda, the sixth most wanted person on the Northern Police District’s list, who was tagged in robbery and drug deals.
Suspected shooters Angelito “Itong” Castro, 36, and Juan “Wangwang” Batobalanas, 23, were arrested and charged with murder on Tuesday. The other suspects, two of whom were known as “Puti Valdez” and “Awing Mendoza,” were still being hunted by police, as of Thursday.
The six members of the station’s intelligence operatives were met with bullets “coming from different directions” as they entered an alley tipped by an informant as the hiding place, Uy narrated in an earlier interview.
On Tuesday, 45 men were invited to the police station following the encounter. PO1 Rollie Ballena and PO2 David Santos, who were among the intelligence operatives who tried to arrest Rueda, were able to identify Castro and Batobalanas as among those who fired at them.
Some 80 men were brought to the police station on Thursday, after the “Oplan Galugad.” As of Thursday noon, none of the 80 had been tagged in the shooting. At around lunch, at least 30 of them were still at the station and 50 had been released.
“We’re still checking if they have pending warrants of arrests,” Uy said.
Asked whether they would increase police visibility in the area because of the shooting, Uy stressed that the port has been under the jurisdiction of the Philippine National Police Maritime Command.
He said he secured a permit for the Monday night operation that took the life of one of his cops who was an “asset” to the team because he was diligent and would “volunteer” to take on tough assignments.