7 killed in antidrug raids in Davao
DAVAO CITY—Suspected drug traffickers may have become bolder and dangerous because they are armed, but they should think twice about fighting it out against lawmen, a police spokesperson said on Wednesday.
Senior Insp. Milgrace Driz, city police spokesperson, cited the deaths of seven men believed to be pushers during simultaneous raids conducted in six areas earlier in the day, starting at 3 a.m., as part of the government’s Oplan Kaagapay.
Holding at least 36 search warrants, dozens of policemen and antinarcotics agents swooped into houses in Bucana in Barangay 76-A, Mini-Forest Boulevard, Tiongko, Dumoy, Bangkal and Bangkerohan. They were met with gunfire, forcing them to shoot back, Driz said.
“They really fought it out, they refused to be caught, that’s why our operatives were forced to respond,” the officer explained. Observers find it “normal” for pushers to be killed during police operations here.
A total of seven men were killed during the raids. Driz identified them as Jabal Aboul, Cyril Abinoja, Reynaldo Quindato, Nonoy Tiongco, Marvin Flores Vargas, Jerome Portolazo, and Dodong Quiba.
Nearly 300 grams of substance suspected to be “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride), with a street value of over P3 million,
7 grams of marijuana, 15 high-powered firearms, two grenades and
10 live bullets were seized from the scenes.
Driz said 37 other drug suspects did not resist arrest, while a 16-year old girl was rescued from one of them, identified as Ferdinand Valencia.
“This is what we have been saying: Those who will refuse to surrender peacefully and choose to fight it out with the authorities will face the risk of getting killed,” said Senior Supt. Vicente Danao Jr., city police chief, said.
Driz said only suspects who put up a fight get killed during drug raids. “The fact that they were equipped with high-powered firearms only meant they could be very dangerous,” she said.
In April, at least three men believed to be drug pushers were killed in a reported shootout with law enforcers.
In February last year, seven people were killed and 35 others, including a South Korean, were arrested when government agents struck on an alleged drug haven in Barangay Ilang in Tibungco District here.
Human rights groups have denounced the killings of criminal suspects in the city, which they blamed on vigilantes.
Senior Supt. Aaron Aquino, deputy director for operations of the Southern Mindanao police office, praised the lawmen who conducted the raids for a “job well done.” Police stations involved in the operations were immediately awarded in a ceremony held at Camp Domingo Leonor here.
Director Benjamin Magalong of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, who was in the city as early as Tuesday, also commended the raiders.
“The operation would have not been that easy and possible had it not been for the support of the local government unit. We would like to extend our gratitude to Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who, willingly extended logistical support to our operatives,” Magalong said. With reports from Allan Nawal and Joselle Badilla, Inquirer Mindanao
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