In­ten­si­fied war on drugs claims 4 in Cota­bato

Tempo - - News - By MALU CADELINA MANAR

KIDAPAWAN CITY – Four sus­pected drug per­son­al­i­ties were killed in three sep­a­rate in­ci­dents in North Cota­bato since Tues­day.

Su­per­in­ten­dent Bernard Tay­ong, spokesper­son of the Cota­bato Pro­vin­cial Po­lice Of­fice (CPPO), said three of those slain en­gaged the po­lice in a gun bat­tle.

Killed in Kaba­can were Jonathan Man­gakoy and Sen­datuk Bali­wan, both res­i­dents of Barangay Aringay.

Au­thor­i­ties re­cov­ered a hand gre­nade, a pis­tol, and a shot­gun from the two.

In Mata­lam, a cer­tain Kuyog Pan­tas was killed af­ter he de­cided to shoot it out with po­lice, around 3 a.m., yes­ter­day, Tay­ong said.

Pan­tas re­port­edly started fir­ing his pis­tol to­wards the op­er­a­tives when he saw them ap­proach­ing his safe house at Purok Kris­lam, Barangay Pobla­cion.

Two of his co­horts, iden­ti­fied as Jo­hari Sati Sa­bal and Baks Tayag, are now sub­jects of a man­hunt.

In Kidapawan City, an uniden­ti­fied gun­man shot dead a 33-year old me­chanic iden­ti­fied as Ramel Ma­ca­cana, around past 4 p.m., Thurs­day.

The vic­tim was said to have been busy re­pair­ing a busted tire when the gun­man pumped bul­lets into his head.

He died an hour af­ter he was rushed to the near­est hos­pi­tal here.

Ma­ca­cana was be­lieved to have been in­volved in the il­le­gal drug trade.

Tay­ong said de­spite more and more “per­sons of in­ter­ests” get­ting killed in po­lice op­er­a­tions, the drug men­ace in Cota­bato still con­tin­ues to grow.

“Shabu deal­ing, not only in North Cota­bato, is al­ready a lu­cra­tive busi­ness. The re­turn of in­vest­ment is high. Also, with law en­force­ment against il­le­gal drugs hav­ing been in­ten­si­fied, the de­mand for shabu and other kinds of il­le­gal drugs has only been get­ting higher,” said Tay­ong.

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