SAN CARLOS CITY, Pangasinan — A barangay captain who was tagged as a high-value target in the war on drugs, was shot dead at 4:50 a.m. Wednesday when he resisted arrest and drew his firearm as lawmen were serving a search warrant at his residence in Barangay Tayambani here.
Supt. Nestor Cusi, officer-in-charge of the San Carlos City Police, identified the fatality as 41-year-old Lamberto Villa, alias “Dawes”, barangay captain of Tayambani.
According to the police, Villa was the number 1 personality in their drug watch list and has been identified as the leader of the “Dawes Group” responsible for the distribution of illegal drugs in San Carlos City and adjacent towns.
In a news conference, Cusi also tagged Villa as the leader of a gun-for-hire group believed responsible for numerous unsolved killings in San Carlos City and nearby areas.
He said Villa is also a high-value target of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the intelligence community in the Ilocos region.
Initial investigation showed that when the police were serving the search warrant issued by Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Hermogenes Fernandez of Branch 56, Villa suddenly resisted arrest and drew his .45-caliber gun, prompting the policemen to shoot him. Villa sustained wounds in different parts of his body.
A search of his residence yielded at least 35 pieces of heat-sealed plastic sachets of suspected shabu, two weighing scales, drug paraphernalia, one Colt MKIV, a .45-caliber pistol, and several live ammunition.
Two alleged henchmen of Villa were also arrested when they were chanced upon by the police at the premises of the house they were searching.
They were identified as Cyrus Gabis, 46, of Calasiao, from whom a .38-caliber Smith and Wesson with six live ammunition in its chamber was seized; and Wilferigno Co, 30, who had in his possession a .38-caliber revolver with six live ammunition.
The two were found inside a nipa hut inside the compound raided by the police and were reportedly acting as private bodyguards of the slain barangay captain.
All the firearms and ammunition recovered were brought to the police crime laboratory in Lingayen, Pangasinan for ballistic examination for cross-matching with firearms and bullets found in previous crime scenes. PNA/northboundasia.com