Pasig ‘Drug den massacre’ kills 6; police chief sees gang rivalry
Six people, three of whom were on the watch list of suspected drug users and pushers, were killed by unidentified gunmen in Pasig City on Friday night while gathered in a house that later yielded “shabu,” (methamphetamine hydrochloride) the police said.
The bloodbath inside the house on Narra Street, Purok Acacia in Barangay Pinagbuhatan, happened almost a month after a similar attack left five people dead inside an alleged drug den in neighboring Mandaluyong City.
The Pasig police identified the victims of Friday’s killings as Ranel Valenzuela, 51, the owner of the house; German Vidal of Esguerra Street also in Pinagbuhatan; Anthony Quintana, 30, of Ferrer Compound; Christian Camungol, 33, of Mulawin Street; Johnson Miravales, 26, of Narra Street, Purok Acacia, and Alex Hongco, 31, of Purok Gahit.
Quoting witnesses, Senior Supt. Orlando Yebra Jr., the city police chief, said at least five gunmen stormed Valenzuela’s house around 11:30 p.m. After a series of gunshots, they were seen walking briskly out of the house and getting into a taxicab to escape.
Responding members of the Pasig rescue team declared the six victims dead on the spot.
Crime scene investigators said they recovered four plastic sachets of suspected shabu, 27 bullet casings and four live rounds of ammunition.
In an interview, Yebra said the house apparently served as a drug den.
Of the six men killed, only Vidal, Hongco and Camungol were found to be on the barangay’s drug watch list.
“But for sure, they were all drug personalities,” Yebra said, but then adding: “We are still verifying if the other three were involved in previous drug cases. Barangay Pinagbuhatan is a drug syndicate’s favorite since there are many buyers there. The deaths could be caused by a rivalry among drug syndicates.”
The Pinagbuhatan incident raised to 85 the number of people killed by unidentified gunmen and then branded as drug suspects by the police in Pasig under the four-month old Duterte administration.
A similar drug den “massacre” took five lives in neighboring Mandaluyong on Oct. 31.
Meanwhile, a jeepney terminal “barker” or attendant who was on the local drug watch list was killed by motorbike-riding assailants in Barangay Rosario, also in Pasig.
The police identified the victim as Richard Lauson of West Bank Floodway, Rosario.
He was walking along Ortigas Avenue Extension in the same village when shot three times around 5:45 p.m. on Friday.
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