P81M shabu seized, 2 dealers killed in Taguig shootout

A PHILIPPINE National Police Drug Enforcement Group (PNP-DEG)-led anti-narcotics operation in Taguig City on Friday evening ended up in a shootout which led in the killing of two suspected top shabu traffickers in the country and the recovery of over P81 million worth of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine,’ a report to PNP chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa said.

PNP-DEG director, Brigadier General Romeo M. Caramat Jr. identified the slain suspects as Ryan Labanderia, a 26-year old resident of Purok 5, Alta Vista, Ormoc, Leyte and Ervyn Querobin,35, a resident of DMJ Counco Ally, Correta, Cebu.

According to Caramat, the two suspects had just sold drugs to an undercover officer of the PNP-DEG Special Operations Unit 4 along C-6 Road in Lower Bicutan, Taguig City around 7 p.m. Friday when they sensed the ongoing entrapment operation and escaped on board a black Nissan Navarra without license plates.

The PNP-DEG director said that his men, backed up by operatives from the National Capital Region Police Office’s Regional Special Operations Unit and Regional Intelligence Division, the Southern Police District Intelligence Division and the Taguig City Police Station gave chase and later engaged the two in a firefight.

Labanderia was shot dead inside the Navarra while Querobin died while trading shots with the officers while trying to flee on foot.

Caramat said that recovered from the possession of the slain suspects were one chamber-loaded KG-9 machine pistol, a caliber .45 pistol, several loaded magazines, 12 large plastic packets each containing a kilo of shabu and all worth P81.6 million and the P1 million worth of buy-bust money topped by several marked bills.

The recovered shabu were found wrapped n Chinese tea bag packaging very similar to huge volume of the drugs confiscated by the PNP-DEG, the NCRPO headed by Major General Debold M. Sinas and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency under Director General Aaron N. Aquino since the start of the Duterte administration.

The suspects’ Nissan Navarra and a blue Toyota Altis with plate no. XNC-631 were impounded by the PNP-DEG.

Friday’s operation was the 3rd  major operation conducted by the PNP-DEG since the country started battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last March 11,  agents of the PNP’s premier anti-narcotics unit arrested Mark Anthony Carlos alias ‘Tonton,’ a 28-year old resident of New Sta. Rita Bata in an Miguel, Bulacan tagged as a ‘high-value target’ after he sold  nine kilos of shabu worth P61.2 million to an undercover officer in Quezon City.

Recovered from the suspect’s possession were nine pieces of vacuum-sealed plastic packs containing the shabu which were all inserted in ‘Guanyinwang’ Chinese tea bags and the P1 million worth of boodle money.

On April 14, PNP-DEG operatives also arrested four ‘HVT’s in the country, two of them African nationals, during a sting in Dasmariñas City which led in the recovery of 11 kilos of shabu worth P70.4 million.’

All suspects were believed to be members of drug syndicates involved in large-scale trafficking of shabu in Metro Manila and other urban parts of the country.

“We are doubling our effort to account for more big fishes in the illegal drug industry in the country with the help of the NCRPO and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. In particular, we are targeting suspects connected with major Chinese drug trafficking rings who are using The Philippines as a major base for their operations,” said Caramat.