Davao drug suspect dead after Duterte ultimatum
DAVAO CITY—Some suspected drug pushers here made themselves scarce following the
48-hour ultimatum for them to pack up, which Mayor Rodrigo Duterte issued on Monday afternoon, and in the wake of Tuesday’s death of a village policeman during a drug buy-bust operation.
Senior Insp. Milgrace Driz, spokesperson of the city police office, told the Inquirer they were unsure if the suspected drug personalities had disappeared for good.
But she said based on intelligence reports, a number of them had disappeared from such areas as Dewey Boulevard, the area that Duterte had made special mention of during Monday’s command conference with the military and the police.
“Yes, we have monitored that some had left,” Driz said, without giving specifics.
On Monday, Duterte gave drug pushers living in the city, particularly on Dewey Boulevard, 48 hours to leave the city or be killed.
“If you are into drugs, I’m warning you. I’m giving you 48 hours, 48 hours. If I see you there (Dewey), I’ll have you killed,” the tough-talking mayor said.
Duterte said he knew the identities of the drug pushers there because he has a list provided by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
“Believe me. I’m being candid about it. If I still see you there, I’ll kill you,” Duterte said.
Duterte said he was not bound to wait for drug peddlers to commit more crimes and would start his iron-fist handling of the suspects as soon as the 48-hour ultimatum ends.
If the deadline ends and pushers are still around, Duterte said he would not hesitate to carry out his threat.
He said if pushers are found in the area, they would be fair game.
“So get out now. I know where you live. I’ll finish you if you are still there,” Duterte said.
He said drug pushers could file charges against him all they want.
“You try to file a case? I’ll mow down your family, too,” he said.
A day after he issued the ultimatum, police operatives shot dead 38-year-old Armanuel Atienza, a member of the city’s Barangay Peace and Order Unit, after he reportedly resisted arrest during a drug buy-bust operation.
San Pedro police station chief Supt. Ronald Lao said seized from the slain suspect was a handgun and sachets of suspected shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride).
“We had repeatedly asked him to stop but he did not listen. So on Tuesday, we launched the operation and he got killed in the process,” Lao said.
He said another suspect, Leo Julius Monterola, 36, was arrested during the same operation.
Driz said police will conduct a major antidrug operation anytime soon.
“This will be one time, big time,” she said.
Supt. Antonio Rivera, spokesperson of the Southern Mindanao police, said the police would try to peacefully arrest suspects but reiterated that policemen have the right to defend themselves in dangerous situations.
“When drug pushers violently resist during operations, our policemen can fire back,” Rivera said.
“We are intensifying our campaign to finally put an end to the use and trade of illegal drugs,” Rivera added. Allan Nawal, Inquirer Mindanao
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