By Anthony Giron
CAMP GEN. PANTALEON GARCIA, IMUS, Cavite—Local police here have slain four drug suspects the past two days amid successive illegal drug-related encounters in the province.
The latest fatality, identified as Lorenzo Aldas, a resident of Barangay 48-A, Cavite City, was the subject of a police buy-bust operation at 11:15 p.m. Friday.
Aldas reportedly opened fire during the buy-bust, forcing the undercover cops to retaliate. The exchange happened after the suspect sensed that the “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride) buyer he had dealt with was in fact a police officer.
The suspect suffered bullet wounds in the body and was declared dead on arrival at Bautista Hospital.
Recovered from his body were four small sachets containing shabu and P150 in cash. Found at the scene were his uzi-type homemade pistol and a small plastic container with five more shabu sachets and P500 in cash.
Provincial Police Office (PPO) records showed that Aldas was one of the four drug suspects who died in encounters with police in two days. The three other fatalities were identified as Rommel Sarmiento Jr., a resident of Tanza municipality; Leonard Imas, 37, and Narciso Tumaquin Briggs, 38, both of Bacoor City.
Reports revealed that Sarmiento died in the shootout with police on Thursday night at Barangay Punta I, Tanza while Imas and Briggs in the encounter on the same night at Phase III, CitiHomes Subdivision in Barangay Molino IV, Bacoor.
Sachets containing shabu as well as the suspects’ firearms were recovered by cops following these gun battles.
Major Jonathan Abuel Asnan, chief of the PPO-Operations Branch and Plans and Security Management Unit, confirmed that a total of 34 suspects have died in encounters with police in the province’s eight districts from January 1 to June 21 this year.
Asnan also said that during the same period, there have been a total of 3,894 drug suspects arrested in 1,700 operations conducted in various locations in the province, except for Tagaytay and Mendez-Nunez, which have been declared as cleared of illegal drugs.