GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 9 June) – A series of drug buy-bust operations resulted in the killing of seven persons in just one day as police authorities on Monday embarked on a move to stop what they observed as proliferation of illegal drugs in the city.
Aside from the seven fatalities, authorities also arrested five drug suspects, all local residents, during the operations.
Col. Aden Lagradante, city police director, identified those arrested as Rommel Pallado, 47, of Purok Lanton, Barangay Apopong; Jasper Padilla alias Toto, 35, John Mark Cutamora, 33, of Cahilsot Village, Calumpang; pedicab driver Marvin Adiam alias Bayoy, 39, of Ardonia Street, Lagao; and Herman Gabotero, 29, of barangay Buayan.
First to fall and got killed was Mark Bon Dasal, a 36-year-old glass installer of Zone 7 Barangay Fatima.
A follow-up operation also resulted in the killing of Rommel Hanio alias Omik and Andrew Ignacio alias Faisal, both of Purok Shariff Mocsin, Barangay Baluan.
Another operation saw the killing of two other persons – Fernil Licao alias Dondon of Purok Botanic, City Heights; and Evance Estacio alias Apiok, of Barangay Fatima.
In the afternoon, policemen went after another suspect, a 38-year-old pedicab driver, Arman Mato of Purok 5, New Society, Barangay Apopong. He was killed when he allegedly tried to fight it out with lawmen.
Completing the tally of fatalities was Joel Espiga, who died during an evening follow-up operation in Barangay Buayan.
Lagradante said their narcotics operatives were able to buy drugs from the fatalities and those who were arrested.
He said policemen were able to seize from the suspects 16 sachets of suspected shabu valued at P15,000. Policemen also found a grenade, a caliber .38 revolver and bullets at a rented house of two suspects.
Lagradante said their move is part of a renewed effort of the police to prevent the noted proliferation in the city of illegal drugs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are those who are taking advantage of the Modified General Community Quarantine in the city but the police is ready for them, he said. (Rommel G. Rebollido / MindaNews)