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3 killed, 18 drug men held in Ecija stings

CABANATUAN CITY – Three suspected drug traffickers were neutralized while 18 others were arrested during successive buy-bust operations conducted in Nueva Ecija which also resulted in the seizure of 64 plastic sachets of shabu, police said yesterday.

Provincial police officer-in-charge Col. Marvin Joe C. Saro said three of the slain drug suspects were identified as Rogel Barlis, his alleged associate Francis John Esporna, 19, both of General Tinio town, and Allan Martinez, of this city.

The trio were killed during a firefight when they turned hostile and resisted arrested during separate drug stings conducted in the towns of San Isidro and Quezon on Thursday and Friday.

Col. Saro said these relentless anti-illegal drug operations were being conducted with the sole objective of trying to achieve a drug-free province which is also a priority concern of Gov. Aurelio M. Umali.

Police Major Joel Dela Cruz, San Isidro PNP head, said Barlis and Esporna chose to shoot it out with undercover operatives after selling P3,000 worth of shabu during a buy-bust in Bgy. Poblacion at 11 p.m.

Dela Cruz said his men recovered at the encounter site the suspects’ black Honda TMX motorcycle, a cal. 45 pistol, a cal. 38 revolver and a plastic sachet containing shabu.

Prior to the Bgy. Poblacion encounter, Dela Cruz said they nabbed two suspected drug peddlers and seized six plastic sachets during a sting in Bgy. Sto. Cristo.

In Quezon, police led by Captain Melchor Pereja figured in an armed encounter with Martinez, who sensed he was dealing with a real cop disguised as drug buyer during a transaction in Bgy. San Miguel at 2:30 a.m. Friday.

Pereja said the suspect turned hostile when he drew a cal. 9mm and fired at the police-poseur buyer but missed, triggering a gunfight which caused his death.

In Cabanatuan City, six drug suspects were also arrested while 38 plastic sachets containing shabu were seized.

The San Antonio police led by Major Ador Depnag nabbed two drug suspects while one each was nabbed by the police in Guimba, Sto Domingo, Carranglan, San Jose City, Gen Tinio, Aliaga, Sta Rosa and Gapan City. A totalof 19 sachets of shabu were seized.

Publication Source :    People's Tonight
Steve A. Gosuico
Past President, Nueva Ecija Press Club, Inc.