GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 12 Feb) — A “notorious” drug pusher who was included in the top most wanted list of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-12 was killed in an alleged shootout with police operatives here on Sunday afternoon.
Sr. Insp. Brent Ian Salazar, deputy chief of the PRO-12’s Regional Drug Enforcement Unit (RDEU), said the shootout ensued after suspect Bryan Cortado, 37, resisted arrest during a buy-bust operation in Barangay Dadiangas South at around 4 p.m.
He said their operatives initially purchased from Cortado a sachet of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride in a transaction at the corner of Champaca and Naranjita streets.
The suspect, who was a aboard a Mitsubishi Lancer Sedan with license plate LCF 810, noticed that he was transacting with police operatives and tried to escape, he said.
Salazar said their operatives were able to block the vehicle’s path and cornered Cortado but he refused to yield.
He said Cortado then fired at the RDEU team, prompting them to fire back and hit the latter in the process.
“He appeared high (on drugs) when we cornered him. Out of desperation, he drew his handgun fired at us, instead of giving up,” he told reporters.
Recovered from the suspect were a caliber 38 revolver with five live ammunition, a metal case containing five sachets of suspected shabu, mobile phone, and various drug paraphernalia.
Also found were assorted identification and bank debit cards carrying different names believed to have been used by the suspect in illegal drug transactions.
“The identification cards carried his photo but with different names,” Salazar said.
The police official said they have long been tracking down the suspect, who had gone into hiding, and finally spotted him in Barangay Dadiangas South on Sunday.
“He is [sic] a known drug pusher and reportedly doubles [sic] as a gun-for-hire,” he said.
Salazar said Cortado had a standing warrant of arrest issued on Dec. 15 last year by Regional Trial Court Branch 11 Judge Oscar Noel.
It stemmed from a raid on the suspect’s house in Block 3, Lot 1 of GenSanville Subdivision in Barangay Bula that resulted to the recovery of suspected shabu, grenade, ammunition and various drug paraphernalia.
In 2014, Cortado was arrested and charged by the National Bureau of Investigation along with five other suspects for illegal possession of firearms and drugs.
The group, who were intercepted aboard a van, were suspected as engaged in contract killing. (MindaNews)