13 drug suspects slain in 24 hours
Within a 24-hour period, a total of 13 people believed to be involved in illegal drugs were killed in Manila, 10 of them in operations carried out by the police.
According to Manila Police District (MPD) homicide unit head Senior Insp. Rommel Ancite, the figure was the highest number of drug-related deaths recorded in the city within a 24-hour period since July 1.
The 10 drug suspects were killed in separate buy-bust operations conducted by operatives from the Sta. Cruz, Sampaloc, Ermita, Abad Santos and Binondo police stations. The three other victims were found in different areas in the city, two of them with pieces of cardboard identifying them as drug pushers.
Based on various reports submitted by the police stations involved in the antidrug operations to the MPD homicide unit, among those killed were Conrado “Larry” Belicano, 45, and Rondino “Dondon” Garcia, 55.
Both died in an alleged shoot-out following a buy-bust at a shanty near the railroad tracks on Maria Clara corner Algeciras Streets in Sampaloc at 12:35 a.m. on Tuesday.
Members of the Sampaloc police (MPD Station 4) said they recovered two sachets of suspected “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride), a .38-caliber revolver, live ammunition and cartridges, P1,000 in cash and an MK2 fragmentation grenade.
An hour before that, Juanito “Budoy” Centeno, 56, also died after trading shots with policemen from Abad Santos (MPD Station 7).
Based on their report, a drug bust was conducted at 11:10 p.m. on Monday in Centeno’s house on Hermosa Street in Tondo.
Recovered from the scene were a .38-cal. revolver, live ammunition and cartridges, the buy-bust money worth P100 and five sachets of suspected shabu.
The fourth fatality, Jose “Abu” Rueda Jr., also shot it out with Sta. Cruz policemen (MPD Station 3) following a drug bust at 9 p.m. on Monday on the railroad tracks near Antipolo Street.
Rueda, who was reportedly armed with a .38-caliber revolver, was wounded and then killed when a passing train sideswiped him. He yielded P500 in cash, cartridges and six sachets of suspected shabu.
An hour earlier, a man identified only as “Jason Ilong” died after he sold shabu to an undercover operation of the Abad Santos police station near Lambingan Bridge on Antipolo Street.
Sensing that he was dealing with a lawman, he took out a .38-caliber revolver and fired, leading to a gunfight, a police report said.
In two simultaneous operations in Binondo at 4 a.m. on Monday, four drug suspects were killed on Delpan Road. They were identified as Orlando Arcega, 40; Rolando Sandoval, Solomon Hardinel and Rogie Sebastian.
Like the other fatalities, they also yielded shabu and died while trying to shoot it out with antidrug operatives.
The 10th man, Jason Sputnik, was shot dead at 3:15 a.m. on Monday in an operation conducted by the Ermita police (MPD Station 5).
Meanwhile, the police also recovered the bodies of three still unidentified men believed to be involved in the drug trade.
At 3:58 a.m. on Tuesday in Sampaloc, the body of a man bearing “Maria Luisa” and “Sandanz Care” tattoos was discovered on Fajardo Street with gunshot wounds. Three sachets of suspected shabu were recovered from his pockets.
“Talamak na magnanakaw at pusher ako magbago na kayo (Longtime thief and pusher. Mend your ways),” was written on a cardboard near him.
The killer of an alleged drug pusher found on Sisa Street, also in Sampaloc, left this message in English on a cardboard: “I’m a pusher… and I am here now.” The body was found at 2:45 a.m. on Tuesday.
The third body of a man was discovered along with a sachet of shabu on Raxabago Street in Tondo about 8:30 p.m. on Monday.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.