By JOEY NACALABAN
and NITZ ARANCON
POLICE shot and killed a taxi driver and his alleged partner during another supposed buy-and-bust operation in Barangay Malanang, Opol, Misamis Oriental, on Tuesday night.
SPO1 Arnel Acero of the Opol police station, identified the dead as 32-year-old taxi driver Joseph Macale of Xavier Heights in Upper Balulang, this city, and 50-year-old Nicanor Macalalag Jr. of Rosario Heights in Iligan city.
Macale and Macalalag brought to four the number of drug suspects killed in Misamis Oriental since the start of the new year.
Misamis Oriental police spokesperson Insp. Princess Joy Velarde alleged that the two suspects fought back, prompting officers to use force.
Velarde said police seized a revolver, grenade, bullets and the taxi used by the suspects
“Maayo gani kay wala moboto ang maong grenade,” Velarde said.
She said the police also took back a buy-and-bust money amounting to P1 thousand and suspected shabu.
Police claimed that the two, supposedly “Tokhang surrenderers”, were about to hand over a sachet of suspected shabu to an undercover agent but then the suspects realized that it was an entrapment.
Police said Macale took out a caliber .38 revolver while Macalalag lobbed a grenade at the police. According to the police, the grenade did not explode.
Hitting not one of their targets, police alleged that they then returned fire.
Macale and Macalalag succumbed to gunshots to their chests.
Members of the Regional Drug Enforcement Unit and the Opol police claimed they rushed the two suspects to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center but physicians there declared them dead on arrival.