By JOEY NACALABAN
with NITZ ARANCON
A BARANGAY tanod member and a man were killed during separate undercover anti-drug operations in this city and in Naawan, Misamis Oriental, over the weekend.
The circumstances surrounding their deaths were similar: they were allegedly armed and fought back, had a few grams of suspected shabu in small sachets, and had no money except the supposed buy-and-bust money of P500, indicating that they sold no illegal drug to any civilian shortly before they were killed. The suspects also had another thing in common: they were poor people who allegedly fought back.
Insp. Bernard Colegio, Lumbia police chief, identified the barangay tanod member as 38-year-old Jonas Cabañas of Sitio Wahigana, Barangay Pagalungan, this city.
Cabañas, according to police, was in jail because of a murder case but was released from the Davao Penal Colony. He them became a construction worker and a member of the barangay tanod.
Colegio said Cabañas tried to fight off the police who were about to pounce on him during a buy-and-bust operation in Lumbia on Friday night.
Police claimed Cabañas was armed with a caliber .45 pistol, had a sachet of suspected shabu and the P500 bill used as marked money.
Colegio said Cabañas drew and fired the pistol when he sensed he was dealing with an undercover agent.
Colegio said Cabañas missed, and officers fired back and killed the suspect.
Cabañas succumbed to four gunshot wounds all over.
Pagalungan barangay councilor Elsa Cabasa said the barangay officials had no idea that Cabañas was a drug peddler.
Meanwhile, another drug suspect was killed in a similar operation.
SPO1 Cerilo Manco of the Naawan police identified the suspect as Carlo Mamawag, jobless, of Barangay Mapulog, Naawan.
Manco said the incident took place at Sitio Simanok, Barangay Nilangkayan at around 7 pm on Friday.
Police found a modified revolver with shotgun bullets, a sachet of suspected shabu, paraphernalia and a P500-buy-and-bust money.
Authorities rushed Mamawag to the Manticao provincial hospital where he was declared dead by a physician.