4 drug suspects dead, 9 arrested in Bulacan anti-illegal drugs operations

Four suspected drug pushers were killed while 9 others were arrested in police anti-illegal drugs operations in different parts of Bulacan over the weekend.

In a press release, Col. Lawrence Cajipe, Bulacan police provincial director, identified the 4 suspects killed during buy-bust operations as Resty Rayo, Gwendel John Mananiego, Reynaldo Castillo Jr, and one alias “Anten”.

Rayo and Anten were killed in alleged shootout with policemen at Barangay Minuyan Proper in City of San Jose Del Monte on Friday, May 1; Samaniego in Barangay Gaya-gaya in the same city on Saturday, May 2; and Castillo at Barangay Capihan, San Rafael town also on Saturday.

Police said an improvised shotgun and a .38 caliber revolver allegedly used by Rayo and Anten were found at the crime scene; an improvised shotgun from Samaniego; and a .38 caliber revolver from Castillo. Several sachets of suspected shabu and marked peso bills were also allegedly found from the suspects’ bodies.

“An armed encounter ensued after a consummated transaction when operatives were trying to arrest the suspects who opened fired towards the operatives which prompted the Police Operatives to retaliate causing the death of the four (4) suspects,” the press release stated.

All the alleged shootout happened in the wee hours covered by the curfew imposed under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the province. Bulacan is among the provinces where the ECQ has been extended until May 15.

Buy-bust operations in the towns of Calumpit, Pulilan, Marilao, and San Rafael also resulted in the arrest of 9 individuals, including a 16-year-old male, and the confiscation of 10 plastic sachets of suspected shabu and assorted drug paraphernalia.

The arrested suspects are facing charges for violation of Republic Act 9165, the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Police have continued with the government's anti-drug campaign, the centerpiece program of the Duterte administration, that resulted in thousands of drug suspects being killed.  

The brutal drug war has led human rights activists to file several communications with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague naming Duterte as a suspect for the deaths of the drug suspects. (READ: 'Hang me': Duterte vows to never answer Int'l Criminal Court)

Before the coronavirus pandemic flared across the world, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda had announced in December last year that she will decide by 2020 whether she will seek authorization to open an investigation into the high number of killings in Duterte's war on drugs.  – Rappler.com