THE public got a respite from news of suspected drug peddlers being killed in anti-illegal drugs operations on Sept 7, 2018.
But this time, a man linked to the narcotics trade was gunned down by still unidentified suspects at Zone 4, Barangay Calumpang, Molo, Iloilo City at around 9:25 a.m. Friday.
Don Azucena, 39, a resident of Barangay North Baluarte, Molo, was standing by the roadside with his live-in partner when a gunman repeatedly shot him.
The couple allegedly came from their boarding house located at the interior portion of Calumpang when the incident happened.
The woman was unscathed but Azucena died on the spot due to multiple gunshot wounds on his body and head.
Chief Inspector Marlon Valencia, Molo police chief, said they recovered from the scene at least 11 shells of what appeared to be caliber .9mm ammunition.
While many residents and passersby witnessed the incident, Valencia said no one was willing to give a statement.
The witnesses claimed they scampered to safety after hearing the burst of gunfire.
Based on the initial investigation, a man wearing a crash helmet went near the couple and pumped bullets into the victim.
After almost emptying the firearm’s magazine, a motorcycle-riding man drove to fetch the gunman and fled towards City Proper district.
Valencia said they are checking reports that two more motorcycle-riding men were seen several meters from the crime scene.
“We want to ascertain if they are at the area by chance or were look-outs of the assailants,” he added.
The two lookouts allegedly sped off to Arevalo district.
Molo Police Station records showed that the victim surrendered through Oplan Tokhang in 2016. He was categorized as a drug user and pusher.
After his surrender, Valencia said they did not receive any report of Azucena engaging in illegal drug trade again.
Even his live-in partner attested that Azucena was a good man. She claimed that she ran a ready-to-wear business.
Azucena was an ambulant vendor of snacks.
Meanwhile, Azucena’s father claimed that some persons might have used his son’s name in dealing illegal drugs.