3 druggies killed in Ecija stings

CABANATUAN CITY -- Three alleged armed drug traffickers were killed in separate gunbattles in Nueva Ecija after they allegedly turned hostile and engaged undercover operatives in a shootout yesterday and last Saturday.

In this city, Police head Col. Ponciano Zafra identified the slain drug suspect as Alberto Dela Cruz, alias Ambet/Jabar, of Purok Matatag, Bgy. Barrera, this city.

He allegedly fought off Zafra’s men during a buy-bust operation conducted in Purok Amihan of the same barangay at 2:30 a.m. yesterday.

Zafra said the suspect resisted arrest and drew a cal.38 revolver and fired at an operative but missed.

This triggered a gunfight which resulted in the suspect’s instantaneous death.

In Nampicuan, slain was drug suspect Arturo Alfonso, 36, of Bgy. Poblacion, Moncada, Tarlac.

Alfonso allegedly sensed he was dealing witb a police poseur buyer so he drew out his cal. 38 gun and engaged lawmen in a firefight which also resulted in his death.

Police said Alfonso yielded seven plastic sachets containing shabu.

In the third encounter, the Palayan City police identified the slain suspect as Raul Pineda, alias Ram, of Bgy. Matadero, this city. His unidentified cohort escaped on board a black motorcycle.

The anti-drug operation was conducted in Bgy. Militar at 11:10 p.m. Saturday.

Police said the suspect was among those included in the drug watchlist of the Cabanatuan police.