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BUSTED. PDEA regional director Adrian Albariño (left) checks on the evidence seized from drug suspects during operations in Malaybalay City in Bukidnon and Claveria, Misamis Oriental since Wednesday. At right, suspect Mae Cleofe Gonzales, 53, tries to cover her face after her arrest at Villa Alemania Inn in Barangay 5, Malaybalay on Wednesday night. (PHOTOS BY NITZ ARANCON)

Cop, 3 others slain in latest buy-busts

By FROILAN GALLARDO, Special Correspondent,

A POLICE officer, a former municipal town administrator and two suspected drug pushers were the latest casualties in the war on illegal drugs in the Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon.

Supt. Surki Serenas, Camp Alagar spokesperson, said P03 Jerson Autiga died on arrival at a hospital in Valencia City, Bukidnon after a drug suspect shot him on the chest Wednesday night.

Serenas said a joint team of policemen from Valencia City and the Bukidnon Anti-Drug Task Group raided the house of Benito “Jojo” Bisnar, a suspected drug pusher in Barangay Colonia, Valencia City Wednesday night.

He said that as the search was going on, Autiga did not see that Bisnar had a small gun hidden in the pocket of his pants.

“It was a small Derringer caliber .22 gun. The suspect fired at Autiga hitting him on the chest,” Serenas said.

Serenas said Autiga’s law enforcement companions also killed Bisnar in response to the shooting.

In nearby Misamis Oriental, agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) shot and killed Benito Datu Barros, a former municipal town administrator in Claveria town yesterday morning.

PDEA said they were in Claveria to serve a warrant against a Barros but he tried to fight back. He succumbed to three gunshot wounds to the chest.

Police rushed Barros to the Claveria municipal hospital but he was declared dead on arrival.

PDEA regional director  Adrian Albariño said the narcotics agents were forced to use force because there was imminent danger.

“Pagka-kita ng mga police escorts and operatives natin na may dala siyang armas kaagad pinaputukan na natin. We had no choice kaya napilitan ang unit natin. The mere fact na hawak-hwak na niya ang baril, wala na tayong choice,” he said.

A reporter from Magnum Radyo who was with the raiding team, said she saw the PDEA agents scuffle with Barros who was holding a grenade when they entered his farmhouse in Barangay Sta. Cruz, Claveria town.

A caliber .38 revolver and a plastic tray containing 18 packets of suspected shabu were found in the room of Barros who was killed in the scuffle.

Authorities also found a pack of capsules believed to be “Ecstasy,” a heat sealer, various contraceptives, a can of condoms and other drug paraphernalia.

The operation was witnessed by Claveria Mayor Miraluna Salvaleon-Abrogar.

In Tagoloan, a suspected drug pusher was shot and killed after he allegedly took out a caliber .38 revolver and attacked police officers during a buy-and-bust operation at Gawad Kalinga Village, Barangay Sta. Ana on Wednesday night.

Tagoloan police chief Albart Tare identified the suspect as 34-year old Delon Medina of Sta. Ana, allegedly a “drug personality” who recently responded to the police’s “Operation Tokhang” campaign.

Police said Medina did not mend his ways even after he submitted to the police days ago.

“After learning that he went back to drug pushing, we immediately conducted a buy-bust operation. After nahatag ang marked money, we declared nga dakop pero armado man diay og namusil,” Tare said.

Police claimed the suspect had sachets of suspected shabu, a revolver, and P1,500 in cash.

Tare said the suspect negotiated with a police agent who posed as a buyer but when he soon realized that it was a buy-and-bust operation, he allegedly drew his gun and fired shots at the officers.

Medina, who worked a driver of a Multicab used as a public vehicle, was supposed to go home at around 8 pm, said his father Fidel.

“Mugarahi naman unta ni siya. Unya nay nag-text namu nga tabuon among anak kay basig patyon daw kay naa may nag checkpoint sa dalan,” he said.

A few minutes later, gunshots were heard a few meters from their house.

Joy Medina, the slain suspect’s sister, said her brother was killed while he was in the Multicab.

She said the rusty revolver did not belong to her brother and her family were convinced the weapon was “planted.”

“Wala gyud pusil akong manghud,” Joy said.

Fidel said his son was a shabu user who was reprimanded by him. He said his son didn’t listen to him.

“Sige man nako ni sya kasab-an pero wa gyud sya naminaw nako,” he said.

The mother, Yolanda, said she had feared that her son would get killed but added that she was certain that the revolver was planted evidence.


About Lito Rulona

Lito Rulona is a veteran newspaperman and broadcaster who covered many of the biggest stories in Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental and Northern Mindanao since the early 90s.

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