January 29, 2023

One of the top most wanted persons in the Cordillera for illegal drug trade and his companion were killed in a shootout that followed shortly after a buy-bust conducted by police operatives in San Jose, Nueva Ecija on Dec. 6.

The fatalities, whose identities were withheld momentarily by police operatives pending follow-up operation, were arrested several times in the past for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.

The high-value target, which ranked number three top most wanted in the Cordillera for illegal drug trade, was a 33-year-old resident of Asin Road, while his companion was a 34-year-old male with records of previous arrests.

Their third companion escaped.

A police operative was wounded on the left shoulder when one of the suspects fired at the operating police team.

Elements of the San Jose City Police Station conducted a buy-bust at Barangay Sto. Niño Ist after police operatives were informed about the presence of drug suspects from Baguio in the city.

The suspects, however, sensed they just transacted with a police operative prompting them to draw their guns and fired upon the police personnel resulting in a brief firefight.

Police operatives seized two short unlicensed firearms, a sachet containing shabu, and the vehicle used by the suspects.

A high-placed source from the National Bureau of Investigation-Cordillera reported that one of the two fatalities escaped during a buy-bust conducted by government operatives at Imelda Barangay on Nov. 24.

While the main target escaped, three of his companions were arrested while 65 grams of shabu worth more than P440,000 were seized by police operatives. The boarding house where the suspects were arrested is reportedly owned by the suspect, who escaped.

The NBI-Cordillera agent said one of the two slain suspects in Nueva Ecija were priority targets of the bureau and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Cordillera as the two offices have launched series of anti-illegal drugs operations in the region resulting to the arrest of several wanted persons and illegal drugs. – BMC release