BACOLOD City – A top drug suspect in Negros Occidental was killed in a shootout with police operatives following a buy-bust in neighboring Talisay City on Monday night.
The police identified the fatality as Rusty Poja Constantino, 27, a resident of Barangay Banago here.
He sold a sachet of suspected shabu worth PHP300 to an undercover policeman during the operation in Purok Tumpok, Barangay Zone 15 in Talisay at about 7 p.m.
Constantino, upon learning that he was transacting with a police officer, fired at the operative. According to the police report, the officer fired back and was able to kill the suspect.
Senior Supt. Romeo Baleros, director of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, said in a radio interview on Tuesday that personnel of the Talisay City Police are determining Constantino’s contacts using the recovered mobile phone of the suspect.
Constantino was a relative of Ramy Poja, an alleged notorious drug group leader, who was killed in a police operation in Sitio Sibucao, Barangay Banago in this city in May 2018. He was among those wounded in a firefight in the same operation.
Police records showed that Constantino was a street-level target and newly-identified drug personality of the Talisay City Police Station; the eighth most wanted person of Police Station 3 of the Bacolod City Police for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002; and also, eighth on the watch list of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Negros Occidental.
Baleros said the suspect, who has long been under surveillance, is believed to be a supplier of shabu in the whole province.
Operatives recovered a caliber .38 revolver loaded with five live ammunition, three fired cartridges of caliber 9-mm., three pieces big and nine pieces elongated sachets of suspected shabu, among others. (PNA)