By NITZ ARANCON
and JOEY NACALABAN
POLICE yesterday shot and killed a suspected illegal drug peddler during a supposed buy-and-bust operation in Sitio Dumanog, Barangay Lourdes, Alubijid town in Misamis Oriental.
The suspect was the 25th person to be killed in the Duterte administration’s so-called “war on drugs” in Misamis Oriental.
Provincial police director Senior Supt. Rolando Destura identified the slain suspect as 53-year-old Buenaventura “Ben” Raterta.
Destura said Raterta was also a suspected robber and gun-for-hire.
He said Raterta fought back, forcing members of the Alubijid police and provincial police office to return fire.
Police claimed Raterta fired two shots with a caliber .38 revolver. No law enforcer was hit.
For allegedly fighting back, Raterta was shot thrice to the chest.
Senior Insp. Lester Seriales, Alubijid police chief, said Raterta was dealing with officers doing undercover work. When he supposedly realized he was transacting with police officers, he allegedly fired two shots but missed.
Destura said the suspect was rushed to the Alubijid provincial hospital where he was subsequently declared dead.
Police claimed to have seized from Raterta four sachets of suspected shabu and a caliber .38 revolver with five bullets.
Authorities said the buy-and-bust operation was carried out in Sitio Dumanog, Barangay Lourdes in Alubijid at around 4:55 am.
But Raterta’s widow Domie denied the police’s claim that her husband was killed in a drug-and-bust operation.
She claimed her husband was a reformed man — he had sold illegal drugs before but had long stopped.
Ms. Raterta said her husband was awakened by one of the police officers. She said her husband was shot as he opened the door of their house.
She alleged that those who killed her husband wore masks, and the shooting was witnessed by their relative.
Ms. Raterta alleged that there were six men in civilian clothes who barged into their house while other members of the group who were outside the house wore police uniforms.
“Oo, tinood na nga ga involve siya sa druga sa unang panahon pero dugay na siya giundang... Mas maayo pag sa una nila gipatay akong bana. Nganong karon man lang nila gipatay nga nagbino-otan na man na siya?” the widow asked rhetorically.