By Martin Sadongdong
Twelve suspected criminals have been “neutralized” or killed in just 12 hours of police operations in Bulacan province, police said Wednesday.
Senior Superintendent Chito Bersaluna, acting director of Bulacan police, said six of the slain individuals were suspected drug personalities.
They were identified as Eugenio Tan; Alden Gerobeise; a certain “Ogag;” alias Keng-Keng; Mark Chester Manalang alias Amang; and Dexter Dispo alias Boyet.
Meanwhile, four were robbery hold-up suspects and two were alleged motorcycle thieves.
Bersaluna said all the slain suspects “resisted arrest” and “fought back” while Bulacan cops were conducting Simultaneous Anti-Criminality Law Enforcement Operation (SACLEO) from 12 midnight to 12 noon of Wednesday.
“[A]ll (drug suspects) resisted arrest by firing their guns at arresting police operatives in buy-bust operations conducted in the town of Sta. Maria, Malolos, Pulilan, Obando, Baliwag, and Hagonoy respectively,” Bersaluna said in his report.
Meanwhile, three robbery suspects took a heist at a convenience store in San Rafael town carting away cash, valuables, grocery items.
Bersaluna said the three suspects escaped onboard a silver Toyota Sedan with license plate AHA 2151 and engaged pursuing lawmen in a gun battle. All the suspects ended up dead.
The other robbery suspect was allegedly spotted by police while trying to break in at a residential house in Barangay Bulihan, Malolos.
Bersaluna said the still unidentified suspect fired shots towards the cops but was killed after the exchange of fire.
The two suspected motorcycle thieves, alias “Bogart” and “Albina,” were killed in an entrapment operation after trying to sell a stolen motorcycle for P35,000 in Barangay Muzon, San Jose del Monte.
Bersaluna said they fired shots towards the lawmen when they sensed that they were transacting with cops. The two suspects also ended up dead.
Aside from the 12 slain suspected criminals, Bersaluna said 24 drug suspects were apprehended in Plaridel, Balagtas, Pandi, San Ildefonso, Calumpit, Bocaue and San Jose Del Monte while 53 plastic sachets with suspected shabu and five plastic sachets of dried marijuana leaves were also recovered during the operations.
Bersaluna said the intensified anti-drugs and criminality operations will continue under his leadership in Bulacan province.
“Bulacan Police is continuously and relentlessly implementing its intensified campaign against illegal drugs otherwise known as ‘Project Double Barrel Reloaded and all other forms of criminality,” said Bersaluna.
Bulacan province holds the chilling record of having one, if not the most number of slain drug suspects and criminals in 24 hours of police operations in the two years of President Duterte’s anti-drugs and anti-criminality campaign.
In August 2017, 32 drug suspects were killed in 24-hours of police operations in Bulacan under the supervision of Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat. He was transferred to Counter Intelligence Task Force (CITF) in May 2018.
Meanwhile, Bersaluna assumed post in May 2018 after being sacked as the chief of Caloocan City Police at the height of the drug war controversy following teenager Kian Lloyd delos Santos’ death.
In his third State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Duterte said the drug war will never be sidelined, and instead would only be “relentless” and “chilling” as the day it began.