Pregnant woman, partner shot dead in drug raid
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – A pregnant woman was among the latest fatalities in the Duterte administration’s anti-narcotics campaign.
Police identified the woman as Yvonne Grace Tapales, 22, originally from Lala, Lanao del Norte, but who resided in Barangay (village) Poblacion, El Salvador City, prior to her death on Monday dawn.
Tapales was seven months pregnant when police operatives from El Salvador raided the house she and her partner Mark Jones Bacaluyos, 25, were living in.
According to a police report, the couple was asleep in the house they were renting when law enforcers arrived.
Insp. Edilberto Carillo, El Salvador police chief, said Bacaluyos and Tapales engaged the police operatives in a gunfight leading to their death.
Taken from the crime scene where packets containing a substance believed to be shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride), a .45 caliber pistol and a .22 caliber revolver handgun.
But sources said it was still doubtful if the victims had indeed fought back.
A person who refused to be identified said the couple was lying in bed and naked when found by mortuary workers.
Meanwhile, a police officer who was also a former member of an anti-drug task force, was arrested by elements of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-10 (PDEA-10) last Friday.
Caught during a buy-bust operation was PO3 Wilson Estenzo Jr., who used to be with the City Anti-illegal Drug Special Task Force.
Before his arrest, Estenzo was said to have not been reporting for work.
Taken from his possession were four sachets of suspected shabu estimated to be worth P15,000, a 9mm pistol and various drug paraphernalia.
When asked by reporters, Estenzo denied being a shabu dealer, as he blamed certain drug personalities his team arrested during his stint at the task force as responsible for framing him up.
But reports indicated the suspect admitted before PDEA-10 agents his alleged involved in the selling of illegal drugs.
Senior Supt. Ronnie Francis Cariaga, the city police chief, said Estenzo has gone Awol since February this year, and his case is the subject of summary dismissal proceedings. /rga
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