Barok’s brother slain in drug bust

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol, Carmel Loise Matus August 13,2016 - 12:16 AM

Members of the Special Weapons and Tactics of Danao City survey the damage to the police station after it was strafed allegedly by members of the Barok Alvaro group. (CDN PHOTO/TONEE DESPOJO)

Members of the Special Weapons and Tactics of Danao City survey the damage to the police station after it was strafed allegedly by members of the Barok Alvaro group. (CDN PHOTO/TONEE DESPOJO)

The Philippine National Police in Cebu went on alert yesterday after a dawn gun attack on the police station in Danao City, four hours after Medz Alvaro, the younger brother of suspected drug lord Alvaro Alvaro alias “Barok,” was killed by the city’s police operatives before midnight on Thursday.

Senior Insp. Alejandro Batobalonos, chief of the Danao City Police Office (DCPO), said they were “one hundred percent” sure that the strafing incident at his police station at 2:30 a.m. yesterday was linked to the killing of Medz and his alleged cohort, Ronnie Cuyos Castro, in a buy-bust operation in Sitio Pulangyuta, Barangay Looc, Danao City.

Medz, in his 20s, was tagged by the police as a level two drug peddler in the province was attempting to take over the operation of his brother Barok, who is now detained at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC).

The strafing incident, staged by two men riding in tandem on a motorcycle, also occurred within two hours after the enraged mother of Barok and Medz, Emma Alvaro, 68, went to the police station and threatened to have the policemen in the city killed.

Kaya ta mong ipapatay sa akong anak! (I can ask my son to have you all killed)!” she was quoted as saying.

Batobalanos said he would have arrested the mother for threatening them but he said they just let it pass since they understood that she was grieving over the death of her son. However, he said, the strafing incident was a likely consequence of the threat, prompting him to decide to charge Emma Alvaro with grave threat on Monday.

Be ready

Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) had no doubt that the two incidents are related. “Of course, the strafing incident has something to do with the death of Barok’s brother,” he said.

Taliño yesterday called on all policemen to be alert at all times as drug personalities try to get back at them following the intensified operations against illegal drugs.

“I remind our police to be alert. We’ve seen that drug pushers are willing to shoot it out with our operatives. We should be ready,” he said.

Batobalonos said Medz was not in their target list because after the surrender of Barok in June, their illegal drugs operation in the area abruptly came to a halt.

Medz has no pending cases but he was previously involved in Barok’s illegal drug dealings, he added.

Pero dili siya kaayo halata kay iyang maguwang man ang nagcontrol (His involvement was not obvious since it was his elder brother who controlled everything),” Batobalonos said.

But Medz was also classified as a level two drug pusher who could sell 200 grams of shabu per week, with an estimated worth of P2.36 million based on the Dangerous Drugs’ Board (DDB) valuation that pegged the prevailing street price of shabu at P11,800 per gram.

Castro was the right hand of Barok who handled the financial aspect in their illegal drug trade. “Siya ni ang tig kolekta (He was the collector),” Batobalonos said.

After three weeks of surveillance, Batobalonos said they staged the buy-bust operation at 10:30 p.m. inside the two-story residence of the Alvaros in Sitio Pulangyuta, Barangay Looc, with a confidential agent posing as buyer.

Batobalonos said it was Ronnie who sensed it was a buy-bust operation and was the first to pull out his caliber 9mm gun and fire shots at the police operatives.

He said none of his operatives was hurt but both Medz and Ronnie were seriously wounded in the firefight. The two men, who had multiple gunshot wounds, were proclaimed dead on arrival at the Danao City District Hospital, he said.

P03 Arnold Labini, a member of the operation team, said they recovered from Medz and Castro a .9 mm pistol loaded with 4 bullets, a .45 caliber pistol with 2 bullets and 20 small sachets containing shabu (methamphetamine).

Before midnight, Emma arrived at the police station and ranted for about 30 minutes before she left in a huff.

At 2:30 a.m., Batobalonos said he was resting at his office on the second level of the police station when he heard bursts of gunfire that shattered the glass window of his office.

He said he immediately dropped to the floor, crawled down to the ground floor and headed outside with his policemen to pursue the attackers. But they had fled on board a tura tura (skeletal) big bike.

According to witnesses, the two men riding in tandem on the motorcycle peppered the station with bullets, breaking 11 glass panes of a glass window on the second floor of the building. Apparently, the assailants knew whom to target because the area was the office of Batobalonos, said Lambini.

Police recovered on the road 21 empty shells of a 9 mm pistol, he said.

Batobalonos said they have of the suspects’ identities based on the description of witnesses since the attackers did not even try to hide their faces.


A calmer Emma, meanwhile, returned to the police station past 11 a.m. yesterday together with Ronnie’s brother Junrey Castro.

Reporters tried to interview her when she went down from the second floor of the police station but with a raised voice she told reporters, “Ayaw mo ug samok-samok (Don’t bother me)!” She even blocked the door of the police station where the duty desk officer is holding office.

After almost 20 minutes of waiting, reporters again tried to get her side but she instead covered her face and walked as fast as she could with Junrey at her side.

She even attempted to hit CDN photojournalist Tonee Despojo, who was taking her photos, with her purse but her companion stopped her.

PO3 Arnold Labine, duty desk officer of Danao Police station, said Emma went to the station to have the killing of her son and Castro recorded in the police blotter.

The Alvaro family lives in one compound in Sitio Pulangyuta. Traces of dried blood were still evident on the driveway of the house where the drug bust happened when CDN visited the area at noon yesterday.

Most of the neighbors of the Alvaros only said they heard the shots fired late on Thursday but they didn’t dare go out of their houses for fear of their safety.

The light at the veranda of the second floor of the house was still on, indicating that no one was around to turn it off. The house is owned by Barok, according to Batobalonos.

But Barok had not been in that house since the drug raid in 2007 on a resort in Carmen town that Barok allegedly owned, Batobalonos said.

Some neighbors claimed the house was abandoned for years and Medz had lived in the house for barely a month.

Batobalonos strongly believed it was Barok who ordered the strafing at the police station as he suspected that he maintained close contact with his family even while he is detained in the CPDRC.

From an isolated cell, Barok was recently transferred to another detention cell crammed with other prisoners.

Danao City Mayor Ramon “Nito” Durano III said some barangay officials had tipped him about the illegal drug trade of Medz in Looc and relayed the information to the police.

He said the death of Medz should send a clear message to other drug peddlers in the city that their days are numbered.

More surrenderers

At past 10 a.m. yesterday, Reynald Francis Alvaro alias “Jonkoy,” a cousin of Barok, surrendered to the Danao police, saying he feared for his life after what happened to his cousin Medz.

Reynald said he was a drug user but was never engaged in selling drugs. Batobalonos, however, said Reynald was among the trusted assistants of Barok handling his illegal drug operations.

At 2:30 p.m. yesterday, another cousin of Barok, Jasper Alvaro, surrendered to the Danao City police station. Jasper admitted that he was a drug pusher and surrendered to the police for fear that he might be targeted in their police operation, said Batobalonos.

The city police chief said Medz and Ronnie were actually among those targeted in their Oplan Tokhang last month but both refused to cooperate.

A team from the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) Public Safety Company meanwhile arrived in Danao as augmentation force. Three interior roads leading to the police station were likewise temporarily blocked with a steel frame to prevent vehicles from entering the areas.

Those who lived near the vicinity of the police station and who would want to get police clearances, would have to walk for at least three minutes to reach the police station.

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TAGS: Alvaro Alvaro, Barok, Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, CPDRC, Danao, Danao City, Looc, Noli Taliño, Philippine National Police, PNP

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