BACOLOD City – Four alleged members of a notorious drug group were killed while another was arrested following a shootout in Hacienda Bariw, Barangay Sta. Teresa in Manapla, Negros Occidental on March 18, 2019.
Police named one of the fatalities as Alson Aguirre, while the others have yet to be identified.
The cops, however, did not name the individual they arrested in the operation.
The operation was conducted by joint operatives of Manapla Municipal Police Station, Negros Occidental Police Mobile Force Company, 6th Regional Public Safety Battalion, and the 6th Special Action Force Battalion.
Senior Supt. Romeo Baleros, Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO) director, said they tried to arrest Aguirre after monitoring his movements in Manapla.
Baleros said Aguirre is considered as one of the biggest drug personalities in the town.
Police believe that Aguirre was also engaging in gun-for-hire activities due to the high-powered firearms they recovered from the scene.
According to Baleros, they conducted a buy-bust operation against Aguirre but when the suspect discovered that he was dealing with an undercover cop, he immediately ran to his hideout.
A gun battle then ensued between the police and Aguirre’s group which lasted for around at five minutes. When the smoke cleared, four suspects were already dead.
Not one cop was wounded.
Recovered from the scene were two .45 caliber pistols, four loaded .45 caliber magazines, 27 pieces of .45-caliber ammunitions, a weighing scale, a mobile phone, and almost half a kilo of suspected shabu.
Also recovered were an M16 assault rifle, a KG9 sub-machine gun, a .38 caliber revolver and an M3 Grease Gun.
“They are armed and dangerous, it is good the group was able to neutralize them. They might be used or hired by desperate politicians,” Baleros said.
Baleros said Aguirre’s hideout, located near a rice field, is “very strategic for illegal drug transactions”, adding that communication equipment has been installed in the safehouse connected to the area where the “lookouts” are positioned.
In July last year, Aguirre and his father, Sammy, evaded arrest during a search warrant operation conducted by the police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency at Villa Hergon, Barangay Rizal in Silay City. (With a report from PNA)