2 killed in Caloocan shootouts

- (Kate Javier)

Two suspected drug peddlers were killed in running gun battles during separate buy-bust operations in Caloocan City, Saturday.

Police identified the slain drug suspects as Alex Ilagan, 34, and Lawrence Esteves, 44, both residents of Caloocan City.

Senior Inspector Cecilio Tomas Jr., newly installed chief of the city’s drug enforcemen­t unit, said Ilagan and Esteves were included in the barangay drug watchlist.

The team led by Tomas first conducted a buy-bust operation against Ilagan after confirming his illegal involvemen­t in the illegal drug trade.

Ilagan arrived at the meeting place on Abe Road 2 in Barangay 73 around 1:30 p.m.

However, during the transactio­n, Ilagan ran away after sensing the sting.

The policemen chased Ilagan who reportedly fired shots, prompting Tomas and PO1 Jervie Castro to return fire.

Ilagan was brought to Caloocan City Medical Center, where he succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds in the body a day after.

A .38-caliber revolver with ammunition, six empty shells, and four heat-sealed plastic sachets of suspected shabu were recovered from the scene.

Around 8 p.m., the same team together with the city’s special operation unit launched another buy-bust against Esteves and his 20-year-old son identified as John Paulo Macaventa.

However, the suspects sensed that they were transactin­g with an undercover cop in front of their house in Barangay 74.

Macavente was nabbed while his father was pursued by the authoritie­s after he ran away.

During the chase, Esteves drew his firearm and fired shots but missed.

PO1 Jomar Regacho retaliated, hitting the suspect in the abdomen.

Esteves died before reaching the Caloocan City Medical Center.

Authoritie­s recovered from the scene a. 38-caliber revolver with ammunition, six empty shells, five heat-sealed plastic sachets of suspected shabu, and a sachet of suspected marijuana leaves.

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