one-time big time

5 killed in joint anti-drug ops
FIVE high-value drug suspects, including a member of the prominent Reta clan, were killed during a simultaneous major anti-criminality and anti-terrorist operations conducted by joint law enforcement agencies in 10 areas in the city around 4 a.m. yesterday.

Sixty-five others, including women and a 14-year-old boy, were arrested in the one-time big-time operations.

Davao City Police Office (DCPO) director Sr. Supt. Alexander Tagum said the team included forces from the Philippine National Police such as the DCPO, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Highway Patrol Group (HPG), Maritime and Crime Laboratory. Also in the team were members of the Task Force (TF Davao), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Philippine Coast Guard, Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB) and Central 911.

Tagum said they conducted the operation to implement 18 search warrants, 34 warrants of arrest and 11 buy-bust operations in separate areas of the city, as they targeted drug personalities, wanted persons, and terrorist suspects.

The simultaneous operations resulted to the confiscation of 131.4 grams of suspected shabu with an estimated value of P1.9 million, 11 motorcycles, six firearms, a dynamite, and a hand grenade, Tagum said.

The raided barangays included Sasa (Sagrada Familia), 76-A (New Matina SIR and Bucana), Tibungco (Muslim Village), Agdao (Barpa), Bago Gallera, Talomo Proper, Bago Aplaya, Mintal and Ilang (Km. 17).

Those killed in the operations were identified as Mark Joseph Gimo-og, 28, of Bucana; Rolly Arendain of Sagrada Familia; Alex Cayao of Purok Catigan, Tagakpan, Tugbok; Jonathan Lihaylihay Jr. of Ilang, Tibungco; and Louie Francis Reta of Sasa.

Tagum said they were killed when they tried to engage the police during the implementation of the warrants.

Out of 65 arrested, 55 are male and 10 are female.

According to Tagum, the arrested minor could have been used as drug courier.

Tagum said one of the fatalities previously surrendered during an Oplan tokhang operation.

Reta, one of the slain suspects, belonged to a prominent clan, a family with members that include some city councilors and noted business and community leaders.

Sr. Insp. Noel Villahermosa, commander of Sasa police, said he is a nephew of businessman Mario Reta, a resort owner in Talicud Island.

“He has long been placed under surveillance,” Villahermosa said.

He said that the result of the operation is a result on the series of attempt to conduct test by of the drug operatives.

The arrested persons are now in the custody of the DCPO.

Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio lauded the successful operation.

While the city has been “leading” in the country’s anti-drugs campaign, the mayor said there is “no city anywhere with zero criminality,” especially for Davao because of its huge land area.

“There are so many people who would take advantage of any situation, and there are people whose objective is to commit crimes,” she said. “But this will not be the first and last time we’ll conduct an operation nga ingon ani kadako (as big as this).”

When asked why there are only small-time illegal peddlers caught, the mayor said the “poor are more vulnerable to offers of easy money because of poverty.” with PNA