Village councilor, 2 others killed in anti-drug raids in Koronadal

GENERAL SANTOS CITY–A village councilor and two other suspected drug personalities were killed in separate police anti-drug operations in Koronadal City early Friday.

Senior Insp. Brent Ian Salazar, deputy chief of the Regional Police Drug Enforcement Unit (RPDEU)-12, said the suspects were gunned down by joint operatives in shootouts during search operations in Barangays New Pangasinan and Carpenter Hill.

Armed with eight search warrants, he said elements from the RPDEU-12, Regional Mobile Force Battalion-12 and the Koronadal City police station stormed four houses at around 2:30 a.m. to look for illegal drugs and unlicensed firearms.

The warrants, issued by Regional Trial Court Branch 35 Judge Oscar Noel, targeted suspects Jaime Sunga, Reynaldo Navarro and Erwin Cabrido of Barangay New Pangasinan, and Erwin John Magbanua of Megaland Subdivision in Barangay Carpenter Hill.

Police said the search at Cabrido’s house at the village center of New Pangasinan initially turned out negative.

As the operatives were about to start the search at the houses of Sunga and Navarro, Salazar said the subjects resisted and opened fire at them.

“We were forced to fight back, hitting them in the process,” he said.

Police said the two were rushed to the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital but were declared dead upon arrival by attending doctors.

Recovered from the 50 year-old Sunga, who is an incumbent councilor of Barangay New Pangasinan, were a large and two medium plastic sachets containing suspected metamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu and a caliber 45 handgun.

Navarro, 46, yielded two sachets of suspected shabu, 20 live bullets of a 9mm pistol, five caliber 45 bullets and a single shot caliber 45 handgun.

In Barangay Carpenter Hill, Salazar said Magbanua fired at the approaching operatives during the search operation.

The 29-year-old suspect, who is a radiology technician of a private hospital in Koronadal City, sustained fatal gunshot wounds and was declared dead on arrival at the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital.

Recovered from Magbanua were six sachets of suspected shabu and a caliber 30 pistol. Alejandro Saludo/

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