Drug killings continue amid int’l scrutiny, diplomatic mess
The bodies keep piling up in President Duterte’s war on drugs despite mounting international scrutiny and the diplomatic nightmare he has caused while defending it.
The Mandaluyong City police stepped up their antidrug operations on Monday night and Tuesday afternoon, killing three more suspects.
In Pasay City, the bullet-riddled bodies of three men posthumously tagged as drug suspects by the police turned up in the streets. Another apparent victim of summary execution was found in Pasig.
The latest killings came in the wake of President Duterte’s slur directed at US President Barack Obama on Monday. Fielding media questions regarding their scheduled meeting at the Laos-hosted Asean summit, the Philippine leader warned Obama not to challenge him over the rash of extrajudicial killings being traced to Duterte’s 10-week-old crackdown on narcotics (See related story on Page A1).
In the slums of Barangay Addition Hills, Mandaluyong, the police gunned down Joselito “Pepe Smith” Aldon, 53; and Jerry “Puyo” Ignacio, 30, in a drug den raid around 2 p.m. on Tuesday.
The two men were reportedly armed and “attempted” to engage the raiders in a shoot-out, according to Chief Insp. Reggie Lacsamana of the Eastern Police District (EPD).
Shot in the chest and right arm, Aldon was still breathing when reporters saw him being carried by two officers through a narrow alley leading to Balimbing Street. The police said he died later at Mandaluyong City Medical Center.
Ignacio, the other suspect, was killed inside his house, which served as a drug den. Three more men caught inside the house were arrested: Manuel Gozagaron, 31, RJ Corpuz, 29, and Allan Calimlim, 32.
When approached by the Inquirer, Corpuz, handcuffed and shaking, said he was afraid he would soon be killed. “I’m a changed man; I have not done drugs for two months,” said Corpuz, who said he now earns a living as a market vendor.
Corpuz said he was among the drug users in Addition Hills who earlier presented themselves to village officials under the “Oplan Tokhang” antidrug program and even attended the Zumba dance sessions held to mark their “surrender.”
Barangay Addition Hills chair Kent Familyal said there were about 200 Tokhang surrenderers from the village.
Lacsamana, head of the EPD’s Special Operations Unit, said the raiding team on Tuesday was also supposed to serve an arrest warrant on another suspect, Dexter “Bornok” Corpuz, also of Balimbing Street.
The team spotted Corpuz (not related to RJ) but lost him during the chase down the tight alley, Lacsamana said.
The previous night also in Addition Hills, a buy-best operation led to the death of resident Raul Pamitan after he allegedly handed over P500 worth of “shabu” to the poseur buyer, PO3 Danilo Patoc said.
The Mandaluyong police chief, Senior Supt. Joaquin Alva, said Pamitan ran back to his house after the transaction and then came out firing a pistol at PO3 Marjowin Quaile and PO3 Aldin Saligogo, the other officers who had set a trap for the suspect.
The retaliating Quaile shot and killed Pamitan, whom Patoc described as a drug pusher who had earlier spent time in jail.
In Pasig City, Arnel Imperial, 46, was shot dead by still unidentified assailants around 6:15 p.m. just outside his house on Manga Street Extension, Barangay Kalawaan.
According to Senior Supt. Orlando Yebra Jr., the city police chief, Imperial was on Kalawaan’s drug watch list.
In Pasay, the bodies of three suspected criminals turned up in different locations.
Jomari Manahan, 18, resident of Angono, Rizal, was found dead around 4 a.m. in Barangay Villamor with two gunshot wounds in the forehead and with his face wrapped in packaging tape, case investigator PO3 Henry Manong said.
Police said Manahan was a notorious burglar (“akyat-bahay”) operating in Villamor.
Renz Noble, 25, resident of Apelo Cruz Street in Malibay, was found with multiple gunshot wounds behind a Philippine National Bank branch on Roxas Boulevard. A carpenter on his way to work spotted Noble’s body around 3:30 a.m.
Noble was known in the area as a snatcher and drug courier, SPO1 Giovanni Arcinue of the Pasay police said. Two sachets of dried marijuana leaves were recovered from the body, while eight bullet casings were found at the site, he added.
The third fatality, Joshua “Dodong” Busli, was found around 4 a.m. on Leveriza Street near Bonifacio National High School. A concerned citizen alerted the police about the body through the 911 hotline.
Quoting residents, case investigator SPO1 Melvin Garcia, said Busli was known as a pusher and burglar who sometimes raped his victims.
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