GENERAL SANTOC CITY (MindaNews / 9 Feb) – Two suspected “drug personalities,” one of them an incumbent barangay councilor, were killed in an alleged shootout with anti-drug operatives in a coastal village in Malapatan town, Sarangani Province early Friday.
Chief Insp. Aldrin Gonzales, public information officer of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-12, said suspects Al Sambaga and Rakib Morib were gunned down by joint operatives after supposedly resisting arrest during an operation in Barangay Sapu Masla, Malapatan.
Sambaga is a second-term councilor of Barangay Sapu Masla and brother of Malapatan municipal councilor Elizabeth.
Armed with 18 search warrants, Gonzales said operatives led by PRO-12’s Regional Police Drug Enforcement Unit stormed five houses in Barangays Sapu Masla and Lun Padidu around 2:30 a.m.
The operation was backed by elements from the Regional Mobile Force Company-12, Sarangani Provincial Mobile Force Company, Malapatan municipal police station, Regional Health Service-12, Regional Crime Laboratory-12 and in coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-12.
The warrants were for violation of Republic Act (RA) 9165 or Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, RA 10591 or illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, and RA 9516 for possession of explosives.
While being served with the search warrants, the police official said Sambaga and Morib allegedly fought back and fired at the operatives.
“The team was forced to retaliate so a firefight ensued and eventually neutralized the suspects,” Gonzales said.
Recovered from Sambaga’s possession were a caliber .38 revolver with three live bullets, five sachets of suspected shabu and a hand grenade while Morib yielded a caliber .38 handgun and assorted sachets of suspected shabu, the police official said.
Sambaga was also arrested by PDEA-12 operatives in April last year in a drug raid at his home in Sapu Masla.
Seized from his possession were five sachets of suspected shabu, a caliber .45 Colt handgun, two magazines and 11 rounds of ammunition.
Meantime, in Barangay Lun Padidu, Gonzales said the raiding team searched the houses of barangay councilor Rene Unos Kamid, Napia Unos Kamid and Jannette Orquillas Taib.
Gonzales said barangay councilor Kamid was arrested following the recovery a caliber .45 Thompson submachine gun with live ammunition at his house.
The search at the houses of Taib and Napia Kamid yielded negative, said Gonzales.
But he said they temporarily took into custody Misuari Dalgan Taib pending the verification of documents for the 12-gauge shotgun found in his possession.
Chief Supt. Marcelo Morales, Region 12 police director, lauded the conduct of the operation and vowed more accomplishments in their intensified anti-criminality campaigns in the region.
“We are currently on stricter implementation of laws. Rest assured that there will be no let-up in our law enforcement operations against criminals, especially those involved in illegal drug-related activities,” he said. (MindaNews)