AGENTS of the Police Regional Office 2 on Wednesday shot dead an armed drug trafficking suspect following a buy-bust operation in Cagayan province which ended up in a gunbattle and arrested five others, one of them an Army soldier, PRO2 director, Brigadier General Crisaldo O. Nieves reported yesterday.
The official identified the slain suspect as Efren Blanco Jr., described as a ‘fixer’ at the Land Transportation Office in Tuguegarao City who was subjected to a surveillance by the local police amid his involvement in illegal drug trafficking.
Around 8:35 p.m. Wednesday, the suspect sold shabu to an undercover officer in Barangay Andarayan North in Solana, Cagayan. However, the suspect apparently sensed the sting after he took the buy-bust money from the poseur and immediately shot the latter.
Back-up operatives led by Captain Jhun-Jhun Balisi returned fire hitting the suspect in the chest. The suspect, a resident of Bgy. San Gabriel in Tuguegarao City died while being taken to the Cagayan Valley Medical Center in Tuguegarao City.
Cagayan Police Provincial Office director, Colonel Ariel N. Quilang said they have launched a hunt for an unidentified cohort of the slain suspect who managed to escape on board a black NMAX motorcycle without plate number.
Recovered from the possession of the slain suspect were three heat-sealed plastic sachets containing shabu, three marked P1,000 bills and a caliber .38 revolver with three live ammunition and a spent cartridge.
Nieves also announced the arrest of five other drug suspects in separate operations in the region on Monday. He identified them as Army Staff Sergeant Joseph Donato who was arrested in a sting in Purok 1, Bgy. Guibang in Gamu, Isabela; Jeromeah Alexis Sagun,47; and Gino Giron,51, arrested in Purok 3 in Bgy. Centro West in Santiago City; Maleck Shehade, arrested in Sinamar Norte, San Mateo, Isabela; and Eloisa Joy Casabar,29, arrested in San Andres, Santiago City.
Charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 are being readied against the arrested suspects, Nieves said.
He added that a separate case for violation of RA 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013 will also be filed against the arrested Army soldier after an unlicensed gun was recovered from his possession.