By Martin Sadongdong
Five drug suspects were shot dead in two separate police operations in Cavite and Laguna provinces on Saturday as police vowed there will be no letup in the intensified anti-criminality and anti-drug campaigns in southern Luzon.
In Cavite, elements of Kawit Station Drug Enforcement Unit (SDEU) gunned down Rodelito Pelayo alias Toto and Artjule Sarinas in a buy-bust operation conducted at the boundary of Barangay Tabon 1 and Gahak around 2:30 a.m.
Chief Insp. Richard Corpuz, officer-in-charge of Kawit police, said Pelayo and Sarinas sold a sachet containing suspected shabu to the undercover agent for P500.
He said the suspects saw the poseur-buyer as he signaled to the arresting team so they pulled out their guns and fired at the cop. Luckily, the cop was not hit and the backup team managed to return fire.
Pelayo and Sarinas ended up dead after a brief exchange of fire, Corpuz said.
However, Joey, another cohort of the slain suspects, managed to evade arrest and escaped on board a motorcycle used by the druggies to deliver the items. He is now the subject of a manhunt operation, police said.
‘Laguna’s Top 8 HVT’
In Laguna, joint elements of San Pablo City Police Station, Provincial Intelligence Branch and Provincial Police Mobile Force Company implemented a search warrant against Christopher Alvero, of Alvero Compound, Barangay San Ignacio, San Pablo City around 7 a.m.
Tagged as the Top 8 in the provincial police’s high-value target (HVT) list, Alvero’s residence was subjected to a search warrant issued by Judge Agripino Morga of Regional Trial Court Branch 32 in San Pablo City for violation of Republic Act 9165 or Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act and RA 10591 or Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition.
However, when police were about to serve the warrant, Supt. Eliseo Bernales, chief of San Pablo City police, said Alvero suddenly fired at the lawmen.
The pursuing cops hunted down Alvero but they were met with gunfire from the residents of the compound, Bernales said.
The San Pablo City police chief said his men had no option but to retaliate and they were able to shoot down Alvero, along with two other men who were both residents of the compound.
Police said Alvero was a paid assassin linked to several shooting incidents in San Pablo City and a “big-time” distributor of illegal drugs in the area and other nearby municipalities.
When the cops searched the compound, they recovered a cache of firearms and accosted four other residents identified as Joy Alvero, Enrico Suasi, Anthony Castillo and Abby Gomez.
Police said they found from the suspects’ possession an M16 rifle, an automatic 12-gauge shotgun, an M14 sniper rifle, a caliber 22 rifle, three caliber .45 pistols, two caliber 22 revolvers, a hand grenade, a rocket-propelled grenade and various ammo.